SOFIA (Bulgaria), September 12 (SeeNews) - ICGB, the project company developing the Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (ICGB) said on Tuesday it plans to launch several tender procedures for the construction of the pipeline by the end of the year.
"The company is in the process of preparation of the respective procedures for assigning the main contracts which are necessary for the start of the construction - selection of owner's engineer for the project; line pipe supplies; assigning of the detailed engineering, procurement and construction (EPC contract); archaeological research and selection of the construction supervision company," Sofia-registered ICGB said in a statement.
On September 1, ICGB submitted an application for a construction permit for the Bulgarian part of the pipeline. The permit is expected to be issued by the regional development ministry in the first half of September 2017.
"The market test conducted in 2016 has been successfully completed with the execution of the ARCAs (Advanced reservation capacity agreements) with the shippers submitted binding offers. Five companies, four of which are entirely new for the Bulgarian market, have booked capacity in the IGB pipeline," the company added.
The IGB gas pipeline will be connected with the Greek national gas transmission system in the area of Komotini and with the Bulgarian national gas transmission system in the area of Stara Zagora.
The planned length of the pipeline is 182 km and the projected capacity will be up to 3 billion cu m per year in the direction from Greece to Bulgaria. Depending on interest from the market and the capacities of the neighbouring gas transmission systems, the capacity of the pipeline can be increased up to 5 billion cu m per year, thus allowing for physical reverse flow from Bulgaria to Greece with the additional installation of a compressor station.
The link is estimated to cost 220 million euro ($241.8 million). The company has secured a sovereign guarantee of 110 million euro under the annual state budget act, which gives potential for assuring of loan financing under preferable conditions.
The IGB project is being implemented by the joint venture company ICGB in which state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) and Greece-registered IGI Poseidon hold equal shares. Greek public gas corporation DEPA and Italian energy group Edison own 50% each of IGI Poseidon.
($ = 0.8358 euro)