Greece kicks off work on second LNG terminal
Greece and Bulgaria held a "kick-off" ceremony on May 3 to mark the start of work on the former's second LNG terminal – a 5.5bn m3/year floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) project off the coast of Alexandroupolis.
The ceremony was attended by Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his Bulgarian counterpart Kiril Petkov, who co-signed a plaque commemorating the project's start. European Council president Charles Michel, Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic and North Macedonian president Dimitar Kovacevski, also participated.
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The Alexandroupolis FSRU is expected to be up and running by the end of 2023, its developer Gastrade confirmed in a statement, noting that 60% of its technical capacity had been contracted. The project will not only serve consumers in Greece but also in Bulgaria, via the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) pipeline due to be completed later this year, as well as other markets in the Balkan region.
Gastrade took a final investment decision on the project at the end of January. The company's investors include Greek businesswoman Elmina Copelouzou, Greek gas companies DESFA and DEPA Commercial, Cypriot LNG carrier operator GasLog and Bulgarian gas transmission operator Bulgartransgaz.
Gastrade also applied for a licence at the start of March to position a second, 5.5bn m3/yr FSRU off Alexandroupolis, known as the Thrace LNG project. The timeframe for Thrace LNG has not been decided on yet. Greece's Medgas, meanwhile, has proposed adding a 5.2bn m3/yr FSRU at the Greek port of Volos. That project was greenlit by Greek regulators in late March. These new facilities will complement Greece's existing 7bn m3/yr of regasification capacity at the Revithoussa LNG terminal.
LNG regasification projects across Europe are moving ahead quickly in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has prompted EU authorities and national governments to draw up plans to swiftly phase out Russian gas supply.