22 Sep 2023

A pilot project for hydrogen technology has been launched at the Bulgarian gas storage facility in Chiren

Washington, USA.

A pilot project involving hydrogen technology has been initiated at the Bulgarian gas storage facility in Chiren, in collaboration with American technology giants Solar Turbines (Caterpillar) and Honeywell, along with Glavbolgarstroy.

Glavbolgarstroy, in conjunction with American technological giants Solar Turbines (Caterpillar) and Honeywell, as well as Italian company Pietro Fiorentini and the national gas transmission operator Bulgartransgaz, has signed a memorandum of understanding in Washington. This marks the commencement of an innovative pilot project focused on the production and utilization of green hydrogen to meet the technological requirements of the underground gas storage facility in Chiren.

Paolo Gaffuri, Energy Complete Solutions, Director, Pietro Fiorentini (Italy), Chad Briggs, Vice President and General Manager of Honeywell PAS (USA), Kalin Peshov, Chairman of the Management Board of Glavbolgarstroy Holding, Hans Drenth, Vice President, Solar Turbines (USA); Vladimir Malinov, Executive Director, Bulgartransgaz (Bulgaria)

The memorandum was signed during the "The New Energy Environment in Southeast Europe" conference held earlier this week in the American capital. The pilot project aims to explore various options for plant and equipment capacities, mixing ratios, and other characteristics. Notably, the green hydrogen produced by this project will be exclusively used for technological purposes on-site and will not be supplied to third parties.

Glavbolgarstroy's American and Italian partners are bringing their expertise as leading developers and suppliers of hydrogen technology to the project. Solar Turbines will facilitate the combustion of the produced hydrogen in a gas turbocharger unit (GTCA), while Pietro Fiorentini will supply the electrolyzer responsible for hydrogen production. Honeywell will provide the mixing plant and integrate the new system into the existing SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system.

Glavbolgarstroy is one of the driving forces behind the project, encompassing design and construction of a photovoltaic plant as well.

This event was organized by the Delphi Economic Forum (Athens), the Business Council for International Understanding (New York), and the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils (Washington). Geoffrey Pyatt, the Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources of the USA, inaugurated the discussion during the "The New Energy Environment in Southeastern Europe" forum.

Видеообръщение на Джефри Паят, Помощник държавния секретар по енергийните ресурси на САЩ

Video address by Geoffrey Pyatt, US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy

"We are witnessing a drastic shift in global energy markets," said the US Assistant Secretary of State, stressing that "more work remains to be done to ensure that all countries in Southeast Europe have access to non-Russian energy alternatives and a path to sustainable, renewable and clean energy sources that provide the foundation for long-term energy security and prosperity”.

"Our allies continue to find new ways to help diversify gas supplies," Pyatt said, stressing that in an atmosphere of "warm trust," the region's energy research and promotion of cooperation, for lasting energy security and progress, continue. This means that the energy landscape of the eastern Mediterranean today looks more promising than ever," Pyatt said..

In his view, unprecedented challenges have sparked unprecedented innovation in the transatlantic community on both sides of the Atlantic.

Ioannis Maniatis – Former Minister of the Environment, Energy, and Climate Change in Greece (2013-15); Delyan Dobrev – Chairman of the Energy Commission of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria; Howard Gutman – Former US Ambassador to Belgium and Managing Director of Gutman Group; Joshua Volz - Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe/Eurasia/Africa/Middle East, Office of International Affairs at the US Department of Energy; and Kalin Peshov - Chairman of the Management Board of Glavbolgarstroy.

"The energy transition is accelerating and reshaping supply chains across Europe as governments and companies take action to reduce dependence on a single supplier," concluded the US representative, who coordinates US energy policy in President Biden's administration.

"We have witnessed strong cooperation in European energy markets this year. Gigawatts of wind and solar output annually have significantly reduced wholesale hourly electricity costs. Increased investments in clean energy will not only enhance our overall energy security by lowering prices and ensuring stable energy supplies but will also be transformative in achieving progress and shared decarbonization goals."

The US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy emphasized to forum participants:

"Each new interconnection offers countries more options."

After Glavbolgarstroy completed the construction of the intersystem gas connection Bulgaria - Serbia within seven months, Kalin Peshov, chairman of the company's Management Board, continued Jeffrey Pyatt's thesis by explaining why strategic sites need the speed and expertise of private business, which must be a partner of the state on the way to energy integration.

Glavbolgarstroy firmly believes that private business can expedite responses to contemporary challenges, whether in the realm of green/renewable energy sources, gas, or nuclear power. Their flexibility and expertise, combined with private capital, allow them to play a crucial role in project realization.

"The memorandum we are signing today is a prime example of a public-private partnership," affirmed Kalin Peshov, Chairman of the Management Board of Glavbolgarstroy.

Joshua Volz, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe/Eurasia/Africa/Middle East at the US Department of Energy, also emphasized the pivotal role of private enterprise in energy integration and highlighted South-Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean as regions undergoing significant transformation.

The conference's continuation marked the official opening of Glavbolgarstroy's office in the heart of the American capital.

Kalin Peshov expressed gratitude to the esteemed guests, acknowledging their presence as a significant endorsement of the company's work.

Deborah Wins-Smith, President and Founder of the "World Federation of Competitiveness Councils" in the USA, commended Glavbolgarstroy for selecting Washington as its American representation hub. She announced plans for future talks on competitiveness, focusing on local-level innovation, to be jointly organized in Sofia next year.

The primary objective of Glavbolgarstroy's Washington representative office is to serve as a bridge between the United States and Bulgaria, particularly concerning energy diversification in the Balkans and forthcoming innovative and strategic projects.

The event was attended by representatives of the US State Administration, diplomats, and businessmen from both countries.