IGB’s status update was discussed at the 7th Ministerial Meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council
The implementation of the interconnector between Greece and Bulgaria was discussed at the 7th Ministerial Meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council. Energy ministers from over 10 counties and representatives of the EU, EIB, ADB and the World Bank discussed the progress on the Southern Gas Corridor, the completion of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) and the status of other key energy projects like the IGB pipeline and the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCPX). This year the meeting, which is traditionally held in Baku, was held online. “When we talk about energy and diversification, our approach is for real diversification that also provides new sources of natural gas. And Azerbaijan is a new and reliable source for Europe”, said the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in his welcoming address.
The construction process of the IGB project is in its active phase and work continues despite the globally challenging situation related to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. All stakeholders are dedicated to optimizing the process in order to complete the pipeline – it’s a key priority of both national governments of Greece and Bulgaria due to IGB’s great significance for the entire region. The interconnector is part of the Vertical Gas Corridor (Greece – Bulgaria - Romania – Hungary), providing access to natural gas from the Southern Gas Corridor and LNG to South Eastern and Central Europe as well as Ukraine.
Currently, the contract for production and delivery of line pipes for the purposes of the project is fully completed. 160 km of the entire route have been cleared and there are over 130 km of stringing. Welding continues and 100 km of welded pipeline will be reached within the next few days. The Greek company Avax, which is responsible for the design, procurement and construction of the interconnector, plans to complete the pipeline at the end of 2021.
IGB is perceived as crucial for Bulgaria and the region due to its strategic importance for providing diversification of sources and routes of natural gas supply. The project allows enhanced energy connectivity in the SEE region as it’s being developed in synergy with other major existing and planned projects such as TAP and the LNG terminal near Alexandroupolis, in which the Bulgarian state is officially a shareholder.
During the meeting, the Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova stressed on the important role of the IGB project, noting that the implementation of the interconnector allows Bulgaria to connect to the Southern Gas Corridor.
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