Line pipe production and delivery for the IGB pipeline almost completed despite the pandemic
Works on all major construction activities for the completion of the interconnector continue; the pipeline will provide new opportunities for import of LNG that can reshape the energy map of the region
Line pipe production and delivery for the IGB pipeline will be completed in the next few weeks according to schedule and despite the unexpected setbacks the global pandemic has caused, announced Teodora Georgieva, Executive Officer of ICGB AD. She presented the latest information on the progress of the IGB project during a roundtable organized by the U. S. Embassy in Bulgaria, Bulgartransgaz EAD and the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria. The event was held online and was focused on the potential of LNG and the future of the energy sector. The Minister of Energy Temenuzhka Petkova, the US ambassador for Bulgaria Herro Mustafa, the Executive Director of Bulgartransgaz Vladimir Malinov and representatives of leading LNG companies also took part in the discussion.
Georgieva highlighted the impact the IGB pipeline will have on Bulgaria’s position on the energy map. “The pipeline will allow Bulgaria to receive natural gas supplies from more than one source, which will inevitably lead to increased security of supply and real diversification of gas sources. Development of new routes for import automatically increases competition, which is of great importance for end users, who will be able to use natural gas at competitive prices”, she noted. According to her, the interconnector Greece-Bulgaria is of great international importance due to its potential for connectivity with other major projects, both already existing and planned, which will allow natural gas deliveries for the entire region from multiple new sources.
“The IGB pipeline has significant potential for import of liquified natural gas (LNG) as well and we look forward to new opportunities in that direction. The government’s decision for Bulgaria to participate as a shareholder in the LNG terminal near Alexandroupolis was a major step that will help IGB reach its full capacity. With its completion, we will be able to import LNG and natural gas from various countries like the US, Egypt, Israel and others. The possibilities ahead are remarkable”, Georgieva said.
She provided information on some of the key construction activities that are currently ongoing, noting that the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has made it increasingly difficult to maintain a steady workflow. “Geodetic survey and line pipe deliveries will be completed within days, while the right-of-way clearance of the entire route is about 85% complete. Stringing continues as planned and as of December 8th there are 114 km spread along the route of the pipeline in preparation for the next steps. Welding, field pipe bending and field joints coating are progressing as well. Over 80 km are now completed using automatic and manual welding and more than 50 km of the welded sections have been lowered in the trench. Backfilling continues, followed by fiber optic cable installation and reinstatement of the completed sections, said ICGB’s Executive Officer.
The Minister of Energy of Bulgaria Temenuzhka Petkova also highlighted the importance of the interconnector with Greece and pointed out that it is among the top 7 priority projects of the EU and is key for the entire region. "IGB will connect us to the Southern Gas Corridor and will ensure real diversification of natural gas sources and supplies. Diversification is a top priority for Bulgaria, as it means competitive prices and a competitive economy, "said Minister Petkova. Ambassador Mustafa added that diversification of sources, liberalization of the market and transparency are the major factors that attract external investors and new providers. She thanked Georgieva and the ICGB team for the continuous efforts towards the successful completion of the project.
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