AMERICANS TO PREPARE BULGARIAN PIPELINE CONSTRUCTORS
The routes of two of the most advanced oil pipelines that go round the Bosphorus, Bourgas-Alexandrupolis and Bourgas-Vlyora, cross the territory of Bulgaria. According to preliminary calculations, the amount needed for construction of the first route ranges from EUR778MN to EUR831MN and for the second it is about EUR1BN. Today it is still a secret which of the two will be built, but it is quite certain that Bulgarian companies will be involved in the construction works as subcontractors. It is also clear that they will fulfil over 10% of the entire construction worth at least EUR180MN. The fight for allocation of the millions will be grave; the problem is that most Bulgarian companies will find it difficult to meet the international quality standards and the technical requirements for building pipelines. A solution to that problem was offered last week by the American Petroleum Institute.
How important API's certificate is can be illustrated with a simple example. A Bulgarian company produces quality pipes for oil or gas pipelines, but there are no guarantees for the oil giants that they will meet the international technical norms. However, a licence from API and a logo of the organisation put on the product automatically open the doors to the world markets for the producer.
In Bulgaria, the institute will be presented by Moody's - Bulgaria which estimates whether or not the management systems meet the international standards. In the country there are about 200 companies that operate in the oil and gas business and need to be certified. Some 20 or 30 of them are producers and the rest operate in the services sector. But in order to keep growing, they have to meet certain criteria as soon as possible, Moody's group managing partner for Central and Eastern Europe, Ivan Savov, said.
The time for API's entrance in Bulgaria is obviously well chosen, since a long-lasting calm is finally followed by excitement about the two big infrastructural projects - Bourgas-Alexandrupolis and Bourgas-Vlyora.