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Jul 21, 2023 16:24 EEST
July 21 (SeeNews) - Bulgarian gas transmission network operator Bulgartransgaz said on Friday it launched construction works for the expansion of above-ground infrastructure at the Chiren underground gas storage site, to be carried out by Tech Energy Expansion consortium.
The works will involve the installation of four compressor units, pumps for injecting and extracting gas, as well as a gas metereing station, Bulgartransgaz said in a press release.
Three US companies have been picked as suppliers - US company Solar Turbines will provide compressors, while Honeywell will deliver electronics and Emerson Electric - additional equipment.
"The availability of sufficient capacities for gas storage, extraction and injection is of key importance both for ensuring the security of supply and for the successful entry into the market of alternative sources, including LNG, and for the development of the regional market," Bulgartransgaz said.
Following a public procurement procedure launched in 2022, the gas grid operator signed a contract for the above-ground works with Tech Energy Expansion in January, for up to 297.8 million levs ($169.5 million/152.3 million euro) excluding VAT. Tech Energy Expansion comprises Bulgarian construction company Glavbolgarstroy, its international subsidiary of the same name, Bulgarian firm Protracing and Poland-based Techmadex.
The above-ground works are part of a vast set of projects worth over half a billion levs in total and intended to nearly double the storage capacity of Chiren to 1 billion cubic metres (bcm) from 550 bcm. Daily injection and extraction capacities will be increased to between 8 and 10 bcm.
Two other investor groups will be in charge of drilling underground wells and building a a 41-kilometre pipeline linking Chiren to the state gas grid at Butan, northwestern Bulgaria. The 221 million levs underground expansion contract with UGS Drilling, formerly Exalo and comprising companies from the US, Europe, Turkey and Kazakhstan, was signed in April.
The expansion is partly financed by a 78 million euro ($86.8 million) through the EU's Connecting Europe Facility.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)
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