Commercial operation of the Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector (IGB) should begin on October 1. By the end of the day, we expect the project contractors to officially submit to the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works a detailed schedule for the implementation of all remaining activities. Based on this schedule, we will check progress on site every week and assist contractors with administrative procedures so that no further delay is allowed. This was announced to journalists by the Minister of Energy Rosen Hristov, who today inspected the construction of the gas pipeline, quoted by the press center of the Energy Ministry.
Minister Hristov singled out the completion of the electronic management system as one of the most important future tasks for the project contractors. It is currently in a test period. To remove all comments related to fire safety, to ensure the transmission of data by optical cable as laid down in the project and to prepare and submit all the documentation related to the receipt of act 15 and act 16 of the site are also among the most - the important future tasks to perform. According to the minister, the expectation is that the two acts will be issued around the middle of September, and it has been agreed that the documents necessary for this will be reviewed in advance by the experts in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
Minister Hristov assessed the connection of IGB with the national gas transmission network, which was announced earlier today, as an important step. This step was present in the schedule and was successfully implemented, commented the energy minister. According to him, the gas pipeline is currently being tested - gas under pressure has been injected into it and a possible leak is being monitored to be removed.
In response to a journalist's question, Minister Hristov clarified that the American company Cheniere Energy responded negatively to the previously requested extension beyond August 19 of the offer period for the supply of liquefied natural gas. Therefore, the government is also considering other possible options - interest in supplies from Turkish companies has been registered, "Bulgargaz" has received offers for the city of September under good conditions, talks are also starting to increase the quantities supplied from Azerbaijan. According to Minister Hristov, the negotiations with the main suppliers should be completed by the end of August. Our aspiration is to secure natural gas that covers 120-150% of our needs and to be able to transfer quantities from one contract to another. In this way, we will minimize the risk of both geopolitical and technical shocks, concluded the energy minister.
From the statement of Minister Hristov, it was also clear that negotiations have already been conducted with the Turkish "Botash" for possibilities of importing natural gas and slots at Turkish LNG terminals. At the moment, an opinion from the Turkish side is awaited as to whether this is possible and in what terms.