Procedures leading to pipeline procurement and construction contracts through a tender concerning the Greek-Bulgarian IGB gas grid interconnector are progressing rapidly, the aim of the project’s officials being to announce the winning bidders by May and give the go-ahead for work to commence in June.
The project’s tenders are being staged amid a period of heightened geopolitical interest and activity in the Balkans, which has spurred hopes of the IGB’s completion and launch within the first half of 2020.
Greek energy minister Giorgos Stathakis and his Bulgarian counterpart Temenuzhka Petkova are expected to acknowledge the swift progress being made at a meeting in Sofia next Monday. They may even announce an even swifter schedule for the project’s completion.
ICGB, the IGB project’s consortium, is a joint venture involving YAFA Poseidon – a Greek gas utility DEPA half-owned subsidiary – and the state-controlled Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH).
Two of five candidates submitted bids just days ago to the second phase of a tender concerning the design, procurement and construction of the gas pipeline, a 182-km stretch budgeted at 145 million euros.
Greece’s J&P Avax and a rival consortium comprising Italy’s Bonatti and two Bulgarian firms, DZZD (IGB-2018), were the two bidding formations. Their technical proposals will now be assessed and offers unveiled in the effort to declare a winning bidder next month.
A pipeline supply tender budgeted at 60 million euros has also reached an advanced stage. Greece’s Corinth Pipeworks has entered this procedure and is up against a Turkish-Bulgarian consortium.
A preceding third tender for the role of project manager, to monitor the project on behalf of shareholders, has already produced a winning bidder, a consortium named TIBEI, whose 5.57 million-euro offer secured this contract.
TIBEI is comprised of Belgium’s Tractebel Engineering SA, Italy’s Tractebel Engineering SRL, Austria-based INTBER GMBH, as well as two Bulgarian firms, Ipsilon Consult OOD and Engineering EAD.