Bulgaria’s section of the onshore continuation of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline will be completed by the end of 2020, the country’s foreign minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said.
This would be later than transmission system operator Bulgartransgaz’s 1 June initially expected completion date, but in line with an open season for January-October 2021 capacity at the Serbian-Bulgarian border, launched in mid-March.
The link will allow Russian gas to flow through the second 15.75bn m³/yr line of Russian state-controlled Gazprom’s Turkish Stream pipeline to Serbia through Turkey and connected infrastructure in Bulgaria.
Bulgartransgaz told Argus that Russian gas will not start flowing through Bulgaria before the end of 2020.
And the construction contract signed by Saudi-led project developer Arcade could allow it to take until June 2021 to complete construction.
The Covid-19 outbreak has delayed the delivery of equipment and the issue of permits for the many non-EU workers on the project, who have also had to pass a 14-day mandatory quarantine, Bulgartransgaz said. Archaeological excavations along the route have also been significantly delayed by the pandemic.