IGB pipeline on track to receive operation licence from Greece [PHOTO]
By Ayya Lmahamad
The Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) pipeline, which is on track for commercial launch on October 1, is in the final stage of completion and administrative procedures for granting operational licence and Right of Use acts are ongoing in both countries, ICGB AD told Azernews.
"The entire 31 km section of the interconnector on Greek territory was inspected for two days (8th – 9th Sept) with representatives of the Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy (Hydrocarbons Directorate-Installations Department) and ICGB’s management," the statement reads.
The inspection is part of the procedure for granting the operational permit for the pipeline’s section on the territory of the Hellenic Republic. The delegation inspected in detail the gas metering station near Komotini, one of the block valves, the tie-in points with TAP and DESFA including the entire linear part of the pipeline in Greece.
“The entire procedure comprises of on-site inspections and a detailed review of a series of project documents. This is done to ensure that the completed work meets all prerequisites for the safe operation of the entire natural gas infrastructure. The feedback we are currently seeing from the members of this site visit is positive and we’re hopeful that this will result in the timely issuance of the required operational permit for Greece," ICGB’s Executive Officers Teodora Georgieva and George Satlas said.
Both officials highlighted the national and international importance of IGB’s commercial launch which is expected for October 1.
“We are looking at a pipeline that opens a new, secure gateway for diversified natural gas deliveries not only for the two host countries but for the wider SEE region and with the option to transmit natural gas to Ukraine and Moldova as well. All efforts remain focused on completing the remaining secondary activities under the EPC contract and the required administrative procedures in Greece and Bulgaria in order to achieve the set deadline,” Teodora Georgieva and George Satlas said.
Additionally, in parallel with the audits on the Greek side, ICGB is cooperating actively with all relevant Bulgarian institutions for granting Act 16 and the Right of Use permit required for operational activities under the national legislation.
The IGB gas pipeline is designed to connect with the Greek national gas transmission system (DESFA S.A.) and the Trans-Adriatic gas pipeline (TAP AG) in the area of Komotini (Greece), and with the Bulgarian gas transmission system (Bulgartransgaz EAD) in the area of Stara Zagora. The total length of the gas pipeline is 182 km, and the diameter of the pipe is 32'' with a design capacity of up to 3 billion m3/year in the direction of Greece-Bulgaria.
The pipeline is designed to increase its capacity up to 5 bcm/y depending on market interest and the capacities of neighboring gas transmission systems.
The opening ceremony of the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria was held in Komotini on July 8.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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