Greek utility company Gastrade, developer of the floating LNG storage and regasification unit (FSRU) in Alexandroupolis announced that the binding phase of the market test to reserve capacity at the terminal was completed. Both the Greek and the international natural gas companies, as well as end consumers, confirmed their interest in the reservation of regasification capacity, reads the company’s announcement.
Gastrade secured 2.6 billion cubic metres (bcm) a year of capacity bookings for periods up to fifteen years. However, the nominal regasification and send-out capacity of the project is 5.5 bcm per year, which is almost the double of the booked capacity. The first non-binding phase of the market test saw an initial interest of 12.2 bcm per year of reserved regasification capacity, which was well beyond the designed capacity of the project. Gastrade still sees the response of the market to the Alexandroupolis LNG market test satisfactory compared to similar cases of recent gas projects.
Konstantinos Spyropoulos, Managing Director of Gastrade underlined that this result and the participation of key gas market players in Greece and Southeast Europe constitutes a critical step towards the materialization of the project, and eventually the enhancement of the energy diversification and security of supply in Greece, the Balkans and the wider Southeast European area.
The project comprises a floating LNG storage and regasification unit and a 28 kilometres pipeline system, that will connect the terminal to the National Natural Gas Transmission System of Greece. LNG delivered at the terminal will be regasified and transmitted to the markets of Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and other markets in Southeast Europe through the Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) which is under construction.
Earlier this year Bulgaria’s gas grid operator Bulgartransgaz finalised taking a 20 per cent stake in Gastrade after Greece’s state-controlled gas utility, while DEPA also took a 20 per cent stake in December last year. The parties expect that the project will support and create synergies with the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria.
The Alexandroupolis FSRU is listed on the EU’s Project of European Common Interest (PCI) due to its potential to enhance the security of supply and competition in Greece and Southeast Europe as well as the establishment of a Natural Gas Hub in the region.
The tender process for the construction of the LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis is underway. The commercial operation date for the project planned for 2022. Greece already has one operating LNG import terminal at Revithoussa, which has recently undergone an expansion, increasing its storage capacity up to 225,000 cubic meters.