Seeking to integrate into the European Union as fast a possible, Bulgaria is following global and European trends of sustainable development. The activity of Overgas is in line with these trends as well as with national priorities for development in the energy sector and environmental protection, promoting and creating conditions for the implementation of international commitments.
Through its environmental policy Overgas provides practical realization of the principles, guidelines and measures stipulated in national and international documents such as:
- The NationalEnvironmental Strategy and National Action Plan 2005 - 2014;
- Energy Strategy of Bulgaria;
- National long-term program of energy efficiency by 2015;
- UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol thereto;
- Conventionon Cross-border Air Pollution over Long Distances.
Overgas priorities in protecting the environment:
• Preservation of nature in the areas of construction and operation of gas distribution networks;
• Ensuring environmental safety and technical reliability during construction, transport and operation of distribution networks;
• Protecting the health of workers;
• Improving the environment on the territories where it operates.
Main trends in the implementation of Overgas environmental policy:
• Compliance with legal requirements, effective standards, norms and rules on the environment;
• Increasing the share of the environmentally friendly fuel - natural gas in the energy balance;
• Reduction of harmful emissions into the ambient air;
• Management of the activities of environmental protection;
• Development of projects on sustainable development;
• Ensuring the protection and reclaiming of lands affected in the area of impact of gas transmission systems;
• Ensuring safe operation of gas distribution networks;
• Providing healthy and safe working conditions for staff.
Ecological effect of the activity of Overgas
There are sources of pollutant and greenhouse gases emissions in all sectors of the country's economy. The main sources of these pollutants are:
• energy production in thermal power plants;
• combustion processes in industry (including power generation);
• domestic burning;
• extraction and processing of fossil fuels;
• treatment and disposal of waste;
• non-fuel production processes;
Gasification has a direct impact on emissions from thermal power plants, combustion processes in industry and domestic burning. The reduction of direct emissions in the country is achieved through the use of fuels with lower emission factor and drop in the consumption of fuels and electricity, through optimization of the combustion process and optimization of energy systems by introducing best production technologies.
Gasification results in the reduction in direct emissions released:
• from power generation;
• from combustion installations at end users;
• from industrial activities;
• from the losses in transport, storage and distribution of fuel and power.
Gasification has an indirect positive impact on emissions released in the extraction and processing of solid and liquid fuels, agriculture, treatment and disposal of waste and others. The substitution of fuels and electricity fornatural gas will reduce the yield and production of solid and liquid fuels as well as the indirect emissions released in these activities. Post-gasification indirect emissions include reduction of:
- Emissions from the extraction and processing of solid and liquid fuels;
- Emissions from the productionof metals, vehicles and containers for fuel transport and storage;
- Emissions from transport and disposal of waste from traditional fuels;
The activity of Overgas in the replacement of solid and liquid fuels with natural gas and the unique qualities of natural gas result in:
• reduction of total amount of harmful emissions released in the atmosphere;
• almost complete elimination of emissions of sulfur oxides, dust and soot;
• reduction of carbon dioxide by more than 2 times;
• avoidance of the need for ash disposal area;
• avoidance of any leakage arising when transporting liquid fuels.
• increaseof investment value and attractiveness of the respective populated areas;
• implementation of modern environmental and energy efficient technologies leading to improved working conditions;
• opportunity for household consumers to read, manage and plan their energy consumption;
• reduction of the heating costs of individual consumers due to lower gas prices and increased energy efficiency of combustion systems;
• increase the comfort of life.
And last but not least - medical and social impact:
The improve dambient air quality, sanitary and hygiene conditions and higher living standards result in reduction of the health risk for the population for diseases caused by air pollution, such as acute upper respiratory tract infections, acute bronchitis, bronchial asthma, pneumonia, chronic pharyngitis, and others.