TODAY.AZ / Business

IGB pipeline receives operation permit for Greece, Bulgaria

29 September 2022 [17:18] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Ayya Lmahamad

The Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria was issued an Operational Permit for the territories of Greece and Bulgaria, allowing the start of the commercial operation of the pipeline on October 1, ICGB AD told Azernews.

Operational Permit for Greece

This is the last administrative step necessary for the legal introduction of the pipeline into operation on the territory of Greece.

The preparation for fulfilling the prerequisites for the issuance of the Operation Permit for the IGB pipeline started in January 2022 accompanied by numerous meetings with authorities, the third-party inspector, the contractor, with DESFA, TAP and framed with the collection and submission of a huge documentation package covering every aspect of construction discipline.

ICGB's Executive Officers Teodora Georgieva and George Satlas underlined the importance of the IGB pipeline for Greece, Bulgaria and the other neighbouring countries.

They emphasized that the IGB gas pipeline is a completely new route for secure natural gas supplies, which will ensure diversification of gas sources and will increase the competition in the market.

"We would like to thank everyone that contributed to IGB’s successful construction and permitting, allowing the commercial launch of the pipeline on October 1, 2022, the official start of the new heating session," Teodora Georgieva and George Satlas said.

Operational Permit for Bulgaria

After a two-day session of the acceptance commission for Act 16 convened by the Bulgarian National Building Control Directorate, the document was issued at the end of the day on Tuesday, giving grounds to issue a Permit for Use. This is the last administrative step necessary for the legal introduction of the interconnector into operation on the territory of Bulgaria. The document certifies that the facility is fit for commissioning and allows the start of commercial activity from October 1.

The Permit was presented to the Executive Officers of ICGB, Teodora Georgieva and George Satlas, by the Bulgarian Minister of Regional Development and Public Works, Arch. Ivan Shishkov.

"This is an extremely important day not only for the project and for ICGB as a transmission operator, but also for the end consumers in Greece and Bulgaria. This document allows us to start commercial activities right on time for the new heating season, which was the top priority of all parties involved in the implementation of the interconnector," they said.

ICGB coordinated in advance with 27 institutions all necessary opinions, documents and permits in order to optimize the implementation of the procedure for issuing Act 16. By the commercial launch of the facility on October 1, the Bulgarian energy regulator EWRC must reconfirm the already issued license of the company as a transmission operator, as well as ICGB’s Network and Tariff Code.

The IGB gas pipeline is designed to connect 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, the diameter of the pipe is 32'', and 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.


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