21 Jul 2023

Glavbolgarstroy has started the actual construction activities on the above-ground part of the project for extension of Chiren

The Minister of Energy Rumen Radev and other official guests launched the expansion of the above-ground part of the gas storage facility in Chiren. Among the officials at the event were also the deputy ambassador of the US Embassy in Bulgaria Andria Brulet-Rodriguez, the chairman of the Management board of Glavbolgarstroy Holding Eng. Kalin Peshov, the chief of the cabinet of the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Nikolay Saikov, as well as representatives of international companies from the USA.

Bulgaria is becoming a major factor in the transmission and storage of natural gas in the region. This was stated by the Minister of Energy, Rumen Radev, who participated in the opening ceremony of the construction activities on the extension of the Chiren gas storage. He paid special attention to the future importance of the underground gas storage in Chiren, highlighting the three goals that are being achieved - doubling the capacity, the high volume of daily production up to 8 - 10 million cubic meters per day plus the injection speed, as well as the complete replacement of the equipment. According to the minister, the very fact of high co-financing from the EU speaks of the essential importance of the gas storage for the region.

"For us at the US Embassy, the diversification of the region is very important", said Andria Brulet-Rodriguez, deputy ambassador of the US Embassy.

Eng. Kalin Peshov, Chairman of the Management Board of Glavbolgarstroy Holding promised that the site will be ready and put into operation within the set deadlines: 

"In this project, we are working with the world leaders in the supply of equipment, technologies and solutions. In a little more than 6 months, on the spot where you see the red truck and the excavator, 4 machines of 6 megawatts will be delivered from the American company Solar Turbines. These machines will be operated with Honeywell technology and Emerson equipment. They will inject gas at a pressure of 140 bar underground. In the near or more distant future, why not hydrogen as well." 

The representative of the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works, Mr. Nikolay Saikov, confirmed the department's support during the entire project implementation period:

"I would like to assure you that the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works will continue to provide its full assistance for the timely, successful and quality completion of this extremely important project for Bulgaria."

The executive director of Bulgartransgaz Vladimir Malinov expressed his gratitude to all those who take part in the large-scale project for expansion of the Chiren gas storage facility:

"In the last few years, we have worked hard to expand the connectivity of our gas transmission system with neighboring countries and increase the transmission capacity, respectively, for the diversification of Bulgaria.. Now is the time to concentrate our efforts on building the underground gas storage." 

Official guests and journalists had the opportunity to see up close the planned construction activities. Eng. Konstantin Kisev, Deputy Executive Director of Glavbolgarstroy International and Project Manager – Above Ground Facilities, guided the guests to various points of the gas storage facility to share with them details about the planned activities and facilities.

Expansion of Chiren UGS by constructing new wells and above-ground facilities will ensure an increase of the volume of the active gas to be stored in the cavern to up to 1 billion m³ and an increase of the production (injection and extraction) capacities of the plant to up to 8 - 10 million m³ per day.

On the other hand, construction of the pipeline connecting UGS Chiren with the existing transmission system of Bulgartransgas, will enlarge the number of options for storage of gas coming from and to Europe and the region, thus, transforming Bulgaria into an even more significant gas hub on the Balkans.