Hydrotesting of all 8 block valves has also been performed successfully, the construction activities on the two gas measuring stations are progressing with a steady pace
The entire length of the IGB pipeline and all eight block valve stations are now successfully hydrotested.
The hydrotest – a method for verifying a pipeline’s safety – was applied to the pipeline’s all 182.6km and the eight block valve stations along the gas pipeline route.
Also known as hydrostatic testing, this is a method for verifying a pipeline’s integrity after it has been built. The test involves filling a pipeline segment with water until it is at a pressure that is higher than the pipeline will ever operate with natural gas. This allows the pipeline company to validate the safe operating pressure of the pipeline and ensure that the line is structurally sound, verifying its quality.
“The finalization of this process is a major step towards the completion of the interconnector and its commissioning. The IGB project is strategic and increasingly important not only for the two countries implementing it, but also for the entire region, so we rely on the EPC contractor to fulfill its commitments as soon as possible so that the relevant institutions can
proceed with all administrative procedures required for commissioning”, said the two Executive Directors of the ICGB project company Teodora Georgieva and Konstantinos Karayannakos. The two headed an inspection of the ongoing construction activities both in Bulgaria and Greece to evaluate the EPC contractor’s progress on the project’s implementation.
As of mid-April, 91% of all construction activities for the pipeline have been completed. The remaining works are the two gas metering stations near Stara Zagora and Komotini. Reinstatement has already started along the completed route of the pipeline – according to the project, the entire 182-kilometer route of the interconnector should be reinstated in accordance with all environmental standards. 31 km have already been fully reinstated.
In line with the environmental commitments of the ICGB project company and the requirements imposed by the European Investment Bank, which is a financing institution for the project, the fifth Environmental and Social audit of the interconnector was recently completed. It was performed by the third-party auditors from RSK Ltd., with main focus to be “Social Impact” and “Stakeholder Engagement”. No major non-compliances were identified during the inspection with parallel closure of previous visits’ findings.
ICGB places high priority on the economic and social importance of the communities along the pipeline’s route and continues to deliver its commitments to transparency, accountability, and dialogue, ensuring open engagement in a proactive manner with all stakeholders. As part of the IGB project and ICGB’s commitment regarding Livelihood Restoration Plan, a series of planned activities are scheduled for the upcoming months to support communities in the regions along the gas pipeline in both Greece and Bulgaria.
One of ICGB’s key commitments for the last remaining social and ecological audit during the construction phase is to ensure the successful closure of the pipeline construction works according to all international standards set, successfully minimizing all environmental and social impacts.