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    Greek Terminal Receives Binding Bids (Update)

Summary

The floating LNG storage and regasification unit has had binding expressions for under half of its planned 5.5bn m3/yr capacity, but the final investment decision will be positive, says Gastrade.

by: William Powell

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), Premium, Corporate, Contracts and tenders, Infrastructure, News By Country, Greece

Greek Terminal Receives Binding Bids (Update)

(Adds quotes from project manager at end)

The floating LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis, northern Greece, has received long-term capacity bids totalling 2.6bn m³/yr, its operator Gastrade said March 26. The project's planned regasification capacity is 5.5bn m3/yr.

The process was completed March 24, with bids from Greek and foreign gas companies; Bulgaria said it would be bidding for capacity earlier this month, as the deadline was pushed back.

Gastrade said the response had been "very satisfactory and far surpassed the one experienced in similar cases of new gas projects recently." It marks a "critical step towards the materialisation of the project," it said, without saying if it was sufficient to get the project over the line. 

Gastrade CEO Konstantinos Spyropoulos said the terminal would enhance the energy diversification and security of supply in Greece, the Balkans and the wider south east European area. This part of Europe is heavily reliant on Russian pipeline gas. 

The company said the market test process was conducted under the supervision of the Greek Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) and in line with the guidelines for the management and the allocation of capacity on the project under EU rules.

FID later this year

In emailed comments, the project manager Kostis Sifnaios told NGW that the market test "absolutely supported a final investment decision (FID). To this extent, we will proceed swiftly in this direction with an objective to take FID before the end of this year," he said.

And he said that having sold half the technical capacity on a long term basis was "an extremely successful result." He said that terminal utilisation has been historically much lower than half, and having half of the capacity booked 2.5 years before the start of commercial operations is "great." There is nothing stopping other companies now booking capacity, and he said that short-term bookings would "boost further their results and commercial viability."

He said: "What is equally important is that the markets that the project addresses have all participated, which shows not only the commercial interest but also the strategic importance of the project for the region of southeast Europe."