The Greek company Corinth Pipeworks has already completed the production of 47 km line pipes for the route of the Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnector. The first batch consists of 32-inch in diameter line pipes with external three-layer polyethylene coating. Its delivery is scheduled for the first week of February as the pipes will be transported to storage bases along the IGB route in both Greece and Bulgaria. Thanks to the excellent cooperation of all stakeholders, construction work is progressing, and the project is moving forward according to plan.
The length of the entire pipeline route is 183 km and a contract for the manufacture of nearly 185 km of line pipes has been signed. Following a public procurement procedure under the Public Procurement Act (PPA), the contract was awarded to the Greek manufacturer Corinth Pipeworks. The production of the IGB line pipes is being carried out at the company’s plant in Boeotia, Greece, with a production capacity of over 1 000 000 tons per year.
The production of line pipes for the purposes of the gas interconnector with Greece is divided into five batches. The route will be constructed both with longitudinal submerged arc-welded pipes and helical submerged arc-welded pipes. All pipes will be 32 inches in diameter, 12 m or 18 m in length, and will vary between 11 mm and 20 mm in thickness depending on the section of the route. 18 m line pipes of this type will be used for the first time in Bulgaria. The longer length provides a number of advantages, including optimization of welding costs and a faster installation process. Another proven benefit of using 18 m pipes is the significantly smaller number of maintenance areas during pipeline operation.
The entire manufacturing process and the final product are subjected to the highest level of quality control in line with the industry’s standards. Each line pipe is hydrotested and subjected to ultrasound and x-ray tests before being accepted by the contracting entity.
The construction of the gas interconnector Greece-Bulgaria aims to ensure diversification not only of the routes but also of the natural gas sources for Bulgaria and the region. As part of the development of the Southern Gas Corridor, through IGB Bulgaria and its neighboring countries will have access to alternative supplies from the Caspian region as well as from existing or prospective LNG terminals. IGB‘s implementation also provides opportunities for transit transmission through the gas pipeline Greece-Bulgaria and the gas transportation system of Bulgartransgaz EAD to the other gas interconnectors with Romania and Serbia. The significance of IGB lies beyond the national boarders of Bulgaria and Greece as it also provides opportunities for connectivity with other future important projects in the region like the LNG terminal at Alexandroupolis, Greece; East Med for direct connection of resources from the Eastern Mediterranean and with Greece through Cyprus and Crete as well as liquefied gas from Israel, Egypt.