The construction of the IGB pipeline is progressing without registered violations after a number of regional inspections
The construction of the gas interconnector Greece-Bulgaria continues under systematic control by national and foreign institutions and independent auditors, which guarantees high quality implementation of all activities and processes
All activities and processes for the construction of the interconnector with Greece are performed qualitatively and with respect to the national and EU legislation, meeting the highest standards in the industry. This was established by several inspections at regional and national level related to the implementation of the construction of the Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnection. The project management is being implemented successfully and so far no inspection has resulted in the imposition of a sanction.
"For us, both the quality of execution and the safety of the field teams involved in the construction of the IGB gas pipeline are extremely important, as well as the environmental protection along the IGB route. We believe that what has been achieved so far meets all international standards and requirements and we are making the necessary efforts to keep the pace of the project stable and to complete it within the agreed timeline," said the Executive Officers of the project company ICGB Teodora Georgieva and Konstantinos Karayannakos. They noted that the quality control implemented by the project company is continuous and the efforts of the ICGB team contribute significantly to the excellent results of all inspections so far.
From the beginning of the year and up to 20.08.2021, 8 inspections were carried out by the local and municipal authorities in the areas through which the gas pipeline passes. These are mainly the regional directorates for national construction control in the districts of Kardzhali, Stara Zagora and Haskovo, as well as the regional governor of Stara Zagora. Subject of the inspectors are number of documents related to permits and construction contracts, design supervision, health and safety conditions. In their conclusions, all inspections note that no violations were found, and no prescriptions were issued.
At the beginning of August an additional inspection was carried out at the initiative of the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Bulgaria, subject of which were the technical aspects of the IGB project - quality of welding, corrosion of the delivered pipes, implementation of the optical communication connection along the route of the gas pipeline.
The working group, which includes representatives of the Ministry of Energy and experts from the University of Mining and Geology and the Technical University in Sofia, was aimed at verifying and analyzing the submitted documentation related to the construction contract, terms of reference and the technical design, as well as to check on site the construction and installation works in the area of Haskovo. During the inspection, the construction permits, transport procedures, geodesy, pipe lowering, execution of the optical line, electrochemical corrosion protection, implementation of welding activities, control procedures and the quality of the executed welding joints, etc. were examined in detail. The conclusion of the inspection notes that all documentation is well developed according to the respective requirements and allows successful execution of construction and installation works of the gas pipeline between the cities of Stara Zagora and Komotini.
Together with the regular inspections at local and national level, the activity of ICGB and the progress of the construction works of the interconnector are subject to constant audits by independent companies and international institutions related to the strict requirements of the European Investment Bank (EIB) financing agreement. ICGB has already successfully completed the third of 6 planned environmental audits carried out by an independent international consultant. After in-depth inspections by the EIB of the already implemented field activities, the project company finalized the utilization of the first two tranches of the loan financing.
The implementation of the interconnector with Greece is progressing on schedule and the EPC contractor envisages its completion within the agreed deadline by the end of 2021. The implementation of the IGB gas pipeline plays a key role not only for Bulgaria's energy diversification but will also allow direct access to several Bulgarian municipalities to the gas transmission network. Preparations for this process are already underway in the regions of Kardzhali and Dimitrovgrad, where ICGB is actively cooperating with the region's licensed gas distribution companies and interested industrial customers.
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