The Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (Project IGB), which is designed for transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Bulgaria, is expected to be launched by the end of this year, Report informs, citing the ICGB.
The contractor for the engineering, procurement, and construction contract - the Greek company J&P AVAX S.A, has submitted a request to extend the project implementation period with an indicative deadline of the end of 2021.
The request is based on the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic: “Initially, the IGB Project is targeted with an implementation deadline - the end of 2020, but due to extended procedures for appealing the decisions for selection of a contractor under the Contract for production and supply of pipes, as well as due to the need to provide the total funding, the construction was awarded in October 2019.”
The request from the contractor is yet to be discussed by the shareholders of the project company. Meanwhile, with the support of the national governments of the two countries, all parties continue to work on ways to optimize the activities so that the pipeline is successfully implemented as soon as possible while holding the health and safety of all employees on-site as a top priority.
Despite the reduced pace of construction activities and the cumulative delay due to a combination of factors, the Greece-Bulgaria Gas Interconnection project is in an irreversible phase, and according to the Contractor's forecast, the site should be handed over to the Assignor by the end of 2021.
The project 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 to Bulgaria.
The gas pipeline is 182m long and has a transmission capacity of 3bcm/year with the option to come to 5bcm/year, after an upgrade through a compressor station. The total investment cost is estimated to be 240mln w/o VAT of which approximately €220 mln are capital expenses and €20 mln development costs.