The kick-off ceremony for the realization of Gastrade SA's LNG FSRU facility in Alexandroupolis, Greece, was held on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, in the old Storage House of the Alexandroupolis Port Customs.
Once delivered, the FSRU, with a capacity of 153,500 c.m. of LNG, will be moored in the offshore area 17.6 km southwest of the port of Alexandroupolis. It will be connected to the National Natural Gas Transmission System (NNGΤS) of Greece with a 28 km long pipeline, through which the gasified LNG will be transmitted to the markets of Greece, Bulgaria, and the wider region including Romania, Serbia, North Macedonia etc., with the prospect of supplying Ukraine, as well.
The construction and operation of the Alexandroupolis FSRU, Gastrade said, is expected to strengthen the strategic role of Greece as an energy hub for the wider region of Southeastern Europe and offer alternative sources and gas supply routes to the region, improving the energy security of supply and energy autonomy, during challenging times.
According to Gastrade, the project will also make Alexandroupolis an energy gateway for the entire region of Southeastern Europe, highlighting the strategic importance of the city and stimulating the local economy and employment.
The Alexandroupolis FSRU is expected to become operational by the end of 2023, with the contracted regasification capacity reaching already up to 60% of its technical capacity of 5.5 billion c.m. per year.
Gastrade has also submitted to the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) an application for a new Independent Natural Gas System (INGS) License, for the project "Thrace INGS", which will also consist of a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) and will be developed near the first FSRU at the Sea of Thrace, offshore Alexandroupolis.
The Founding Shareholder and Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Gastrade, Elmina Copelouzou said: "The energy map is changing. We are now entering the final stage of implementation of the FSRU Alexandroupolis, an important and innovative project for Greece. In a period of high volatility in the geopolitical and energy landscape, with this project, Greece shows Europe that it can respond with firm strategic steps to the uncertainty of the times and, through growth, and offer solutions from which everyone can benefit.
"FSRU Alexandroupolis opens a new energy gateway for Greece and Southeastern Europe, which at a critical moment comes to meet an urgent national and European need. From the acritic city of Alexandroupolis that has embraced this project so much, we make Greece an energy reference point in the region, contributing to energy security and the diversification of supply sources, with benefits for millions of citizens in many different countries."
At the kickoff ceremony, the Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Kiril Petkov, co-signed the special symbolic plaque for the start of the realization of the project.
The event was also attended and addressed by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, the Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Dimitar Kovačevski, the US Ambassador, Geoffrey Pyatt, as well as representatives of the local government, including the Regional Governor of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Christos Meteos, and the Mayor of Alexandroupolis, Giannis Zampoukis.
The shareholders of Gastrade SA also participated, namely the Founding Shareholder and Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Gastrade, Elmina Copelouzou, the CEO of Gaslog Cyprus Investments Ltd, Paolo Enoizi, the Chairman of DEPA Commercial, Ioannis Papadopoulos and the CEO of the company, Konstantinos Xifaras, the CEO of Bulgartransgaz EAD, Vladimir Malinov, and the CEO of DESFA, Maria Rita Galli.
While the Alexandroupolis FSRU has been long in the making, there has been a growing interest in FSRUs recently, especially in Europe, according to World Energy Reports.
According to WER's latest report, the interest in new floating regasification terminals, has been driven in Europe mostly due to fear of gas supply interruptions from Russia due to the crisis in Ukraine. WER's April report shows that 13 FSRU terminals are now in the advanced planning stage in Europe.