The official website under the LIFE Safe Grid for Burgas project is launched. The project is carried out by Elektrorazpredelenie Yug (part of EVN) and the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB), and is funded by the LIFE programme of the EU.

The website https://lifesafegridforburgas.bg/en is available in Bulgarian and English, and is easy and intuitive to operate, providing diverse information and photos. It also contains information about the project and the organizations implementing it, details about the planned technical activities on the electricity distribution network; details about the LIFE programme of the EU; information about the endangered types of birds and the advantages for the protection of nature and biodiversity in the region of Burgas lakes after the completion of the project, as well as news about its implementation.

The LIFE Safe Grid for Burgas project has been launched on October 1, 2021, and it covers the region of the wetlands around the town of Burgas, Atanasovsko Lake, Burgas Lake (Vaya), Mandra-Poda Complex, and Pomorie Lake, which are located on one of the two main migratory routes of birds in Europe – Via Pontica and are part of the NATURA 2000 network in Bulgaria.

The project’s aim is to protect birds by reducing mortality as a result of contact with parts of the electricity distribution network and improve the quality of power supply in the settlements in the Burgas Lakes region, where power outages are registered during the months of bird migration. The planned deadline for the implementation of all activities is 2026.

The LIFE Safe Grid for Burgas project is worth a total of 5.5 million EUR, with 75% of the funds coming from the LIFE programme of the EU, and 25% – co-funding by Elektrorazpredelenie Yug.

Under the project, Elektrorazpredelenie Yug plans large-scale activities to secure the electricity distribution grid:

  • Underground cable laying (cabling) of 52 km of 20 kV (medium voltage) overhead power lines, which completely eliminates the risks to wild birds
  • Securing (via protective insulation) of 96 km of 20 kV overhead power lines (medium voltage)
  • Installation of 2000 electrical diverters (reflective markers) along the overhead power lines. They reduce the likelihood of flying birds colliding with overhead wires
  • Building 18 transformer stations and one switching station.

BSPB will contribute with developing a GIS database of power lines and distribution of sensitive bird species in the project Natura 2000 sites and wider region of the Burgas Lakes, carrying out a specially designed field survey on bird mortality along key sections of overhead power lines for identification of priority sections for retrofitting, monitoring of the effect from conservation measures on the priority bird species, assess the project’s impact on the ecosystem functions, etc.

Details about the project, endangered birds conservation in the region, the LIFE programme of the EU as well as news can be found on the internet address https://lifesafegridforburgas.bg

The website launch is part of the activities within the project LIFE Safe Grid for Burgas/LIFE20 NAT/BG/001234.