Bulgarian PM Borissov: The interconnector with Greece should be ready this year

Energy / Bulgaria
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„This year I want the gas pipeline between Komotini and Stara Zagora to be launched,“ said the Bulgarian Prime Minister during an inspection of the construction of the interconnector with Greece, broadcast on his Facebook page. The Prime Minister inspected the construction of the interconnector between Bulgaria and Greece, where representatives of the contractor informed him about the progress of construction. Through the construction of the IGB gas pipeline, Bulgarian consumers will have access to many different sources of gas, including liquefied gas, through the terminal in Alexandroupolis, where our country is a shareholder. Bulgaria has been receiving Azeri gas since the beginning of the year. The country is working on the expansion of the Chiren gas storage and follows the strategic goals of the country by implementing major infrastructure projects in the energy sector. Thanks to them Bulgaria is to achieve 100% diversification. This will be extremely useful for all Bulgarian household and industrial consumers, as well as for the entire region of Southeast Europe.

“We can argue a lot about the delay, but this year I want the pipeline to be launched, said the Prime Minister, emphasizing the geostrategic importance of the project. This is one hundred percent diversification, the Greeks, the Bulgarians and the whole region will benefit,“ said the Prime Minister and stressed that this is also a European priority project. The Prime Minister was accompanied during the inspection by the Speaker of the National Assembly Tsveta Karayancheva and the Ministers of Energy and Economy Temenujka Petkova and Lachezar Borisov.

The pandemic slowed down the work on the site a bit, the Prime Minister commented and added that there is already an exact work schedule, and the workers are provided with all opportunities for activity. Borissov also drew attention to the fact that the terrain in the border area is difficult to work with. The contractor assured the Prime Minister that he was working regardless of the weather conditions. He reminded that the gas pipeline is planned to pass under the Studen Kladenets dam and the Maritsa river, which further complicates the work on the route.

The Minister of Energy announced that the length of the welded pipes is already 101 kilometers, 128 kilometers of pipes have been blown away, 170 kilometers is the cleared route and 43 kilometers of pipes are already underground. It is expected that funds will be received for EU funding of the project.

All linear pipes of the Greece-Bulgaria Interconnection are already manufactured and delivered in both countries. Over 128 km of the pipes have been spread along the route and over 101 km of them have already been welded. At the moment, the automatic and manual welding, the digging of the trench, the laying of the finished sections and the backfilling continue. The project is key for the Bulgarian energy sector and is being worked on extremely actively. Despite pandemic difficulties, the gas connection will be operational by the end of this year. This is the most important project under the "Three Seas" initiative, in which our country participates, and it is strategic for the whole region, it became clear from the profile of Prime Minister Borissov.

The Prime Minister expressed hope in March with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to conduct a joint inspection of the site in its most difficult part.

Borissov announced that a technical possibility for gasification of Kardzhali will be provided. There will also be talks about speeding up European funding for the project.

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