Excelerate Energy inks MoU with Bulgaria's Overgas
Bulgaria's Overgas has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Excelerate Energy on buying 1bn m3/yr of regasified LNG from Excelerate's planned Vlora LNG terminal in southern Albania.
Excelerate said July 18 that the deal would trigger a negotiation for Overgas to sign a 10-year sales and purchase agreement, with either Excelerate or an affiliated affiliate. The project is being developed in partnership with US major ExxonMobil and Albania's energy ministry.
Vlora LNG is currently progressing through the second phase of a feasibility study following approval from the Albanian government in January. The LNG facility is expected to link up with the Southern Gas Corridor, the BP-operated route launched in 2020 that flows Azeri gas into Europe. The SGC connection would be made via a proposed interconnector, the Vlora-Fier pipeline, to bring regasified LNG from Vlora to customers around the Balkans. Vlora LNG would also link up to an Albanian gas-fired power plant.
The Overgas MoU provides further scope for Vlora LNG to re-export regasified LNG into Europe to non-Albanian customers. Bulgaria was earlier this year cut off from Russian gas supplies for refusing to follow Gazprom's ruble-only payments edict, and is now searching for alternative suppliers. Albania last month signed an MoU with Kosovo's state-owned power utilities KESH and KEK that could lead to Kosovo participating in a second phase LNG terminal at Vlora, and potentially taking a stake in the associated gas-fired power facility.
Excelerate has already signed an MoU with Albania's Albgaz to explore possible pipeline connections from Vlora to other gas infrastructure "opportunities" in Albania. The MoU also includes participation by Italian midstream grid operator Snam and could potentially lead to Vlora supplying Albania's underground gas storage reserves, further bolstering energy security in the region.