Co-financed by the Europen Union, Europen Energy Programme for Recovery European Regional Development Fund Operational Program Innovation and Competitiveness

The Minister of Energy Andrey Zhivkov inspected on site the progress of the construction of the interconnector with Greece

All construction activities are progressing at a good pace, construction is expected to be completed within the agreed timeline by the end of 2021

The caretaker Minister of Energy Andrey Zhivkov visited one of the construction sites along the route of the interconnector with Greece in the region of the border with Greece near the village of Lozengradtsi and got acquainted personally with the progress in the construction of the gas pipeline. Representatives of the project company ICGB and the construction company presented on site the latest information on the implementation of the contract for the construction of the gas pipeline, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

The location in the border area of ​​the village of Lozengradtsi is the most difficult and complex part of the entire route with a total length of 182 km. Tough geology, steep mountain slopes and dense forest areas are just some of the natural challenges that construction teams must overcome in a very short time to successfully complete the work in the complex section of the IGB route. The contractor assured the Minister that it had mobilized the best welding teams, a large number of specialized heavy machinery suitable for this type of mountainous terrain, and expert management staff with many years of experience in the field.

To date, the route of the interconnector has been completely cleared, over 90% of the delivered pipes have been distributed on site in preparation for further activities. Just under 30 km are left before the entire 182-kilometer route of the IGB is welded. The welding process is progressing with excellent speed given the complex geographical terrain.

Over 90 km are completely ready and lowered in the trench, in parallel non-destructive testing of welds, tests of the lowered sections, backfilling, bending and coating  of cold bends, are being carried out.

The contract for construction of the interconnector was signed in the last quarter of 2019 and covers working design, delivery of all equipment with a long production period / except for line pipes / and execution of construction works on the linear part and ground facilities, completion testing and commissioning. Due to the slower pace of implementation of major activities caused by the global spread of COVID-19, the contract has been extended and the completion of the construction commitments is set for the end of 2021.

During the visit it was noted the fact that the most critical activity for the timely completion of the project is the production and supply of the specialized equipment for the ground facilities. The concluded contracts for orders represent assignment of a service for production and supply, directly from the contractor to the manufacturers and are not under the control of the Project Company. The Ministry of Energy has committed to provide institutional support in this direction and to exercise additional control aimed at minimizing implementation deadlines.

After the successful completion of the construction activities, a period between 4 and 6 months is required for all legal procedures, issuing licenses, testing and certification of the gas pipeline before entering commercial operation. It is envisaged that the commercial operation of IGB will take place no later than July 1, 2022.

For more information:
Diana Zaykova
Action Global Communications Bulgaria
+359 885 074 422
+359 885 614 131

Date 04/06/2021