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Greece-Bulgaria gas link construction to be completed in Oct - energy min

Greece-Bulgaria gas link construction to be completed in Oct - energy min Denys Prykhodov/

SOFIA (Bulgaria), January 23 (SeeNews) - The construction of the Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnection is expected to be completed in October, the Bulgarian energy ministry said on Thursday. 

It is crucial that the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria starts operating in parallel with the launch of the Trans Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP), energy minister Temenuzhka Petkova said in a news release following a meeting with representatives of the companies involved in the project.

Bulgaria will receive 1 billion cu m of natural gas per year from Azerbaijani via the interconnection with Greece.

Greece's Corinth Pipeworks will deliver the pipes necessary for the construction of the first 47 km section of the interconnector in February, while the equipment for automatic welding of pipes has already been delivered to Thessaloniki and is about to be transported to Bulgaria, Greece's J&P-Avax explained, according to the news release.

Preparatory works on the route of the pipeline are still being conducted in both Bulgaria and Greece, the energy ministry said. 

ICGB, the project company developing the gas link, signed contracts for the supply of pipes and construction of the interconnector with Corinth Pipeworks Industry and J&P-Avax, respectively, last year.

The construction of the 123-km section of the interconnector on Bulgarian soil will begin in 2020, the energy ministry said at the time.

The pipeline, which has a total estimated cost of 220 million euro, will connect the Greek gas transmission system in the area of Komotini to the Bulgarian 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.

In 2019, the European Investment Bank (EIB) said that it will provide a 110 million euro ($121.4 million) loan to state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding to finance part of the project, which will also help establish a link with TAP.

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) consortium said last month over 99% of the land reinstatement works on the onshore route of the gas pipeline in Albania, Greece and Italy have been completed. Connecting with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at Greece's border with Turkey, TAP will stretch across northern Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea before reaching Italy's coast where it will connect to the Italian natural gas network.

($ = 0.9059 euro)