The commercial launch of the Greek-Bulgarian IGB gas pipeline has been deferred by 8 months, for June 30, 2022, as a result of pandemic-related obstacles faced during the project’s development.
The gas pipeline’s technical work is now expected to be completed by the end of this year, instead of April, 2021, as was originally scheduled.
Two months earlier, ICGB, the consortium developing the project, informed companies that have reserved pipeline capacities through a market test of the unavoidable delay in the commercial launch.
Contractor AVAX, the winning bidder for the project’s construction in an international tender staged by ICGB, began developing the pipeline in May, 2019, prior to the pandemic, whose emergence and impact forced the company to drastically reschedule the IGB project.
International quarantine rules have delayed the IGB project’s progress as many workers needing to regularly cross the Greek-Bulgarian border have been forced to quarantine, each time, for days.
The quarantining rules have also complicated the transfer of equipment needed from one country to the other.
The ICGB consortium is comprised of Bulgaria’s BEH, holding a 50 percent stake, and IGI Poseidon, a 50-50 partnership involving DEPA International Projects and Italy’s Edison.
The IGB gas pipeline, to cover a total length of 182 kilometers, will run from Komotini, northeastern Greece, to Stara Zagora in Bulgaria, offering a second interconnection between the two countries, in addition to the nearby Sidirokastro link.
The project is planned to begin operating at an annual capacity of 3 bcm, which could be boosted to 5 bcm at a latter date.