The timing of the final investment decision for the planned 6.1 Bcm/year floating LNG import facility at Alexandroupolis in northern Greece has slipped to late 2018, one of the project partners said, as the developers look to begin commercial operations at the project at the same time as other new gas import infrastructure.
Shipping company GasLog, which has a 20% stake in the project operator Gastrade, said the partners now aim to align the Alexandroupolis FSRU project with the start-up of the Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnector.
“As a result we are now planning for the Alexandroupolis FSRU start-up in the second half of 2020 and consequently expect to take FID in late 2018,” GasLog CEO Paul Wogan said following the release of the company’s Q4 results.
The most recent guidance was for the FID to be taken in early 2018, which has been pushed back from a previous target of the end of 2017.
Greece, which has one operating LNG import terminal at Revithoussa that started operations in 2000, harbors ambitions to become a regional gas hub.
Gastrade joined forces with Greece’s state-controlled gas company DEPA to develop the Alexandroupolis FLNG plant, while Bulgaria’s state-owned BEH is also interested in taking part.
“The operation and maintenance agreement with Gastrade is nearing finalization and negotiations with DEPA and BEH regarding equity participation are progressing well,” Wogan said.
“We also continue to see strong interest from potential lenders in the project including EU agencies,” he said.
The LNG facility is designed to work in tandem with the planned Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnector (IGB) to bring gas from Azerbaijan to southeastern Europe via the TANAP/TAP gas pipeline system.
The FSRU will be connected to the Greek gas transmission system through a 28 km pipeline that will allow the transportation of regasified LNG to the markets of Greece and the wider region, in particular Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Hungary and Ukraine.
It has attracted interest from major LNG producers and suppliers, both new and existing, such as the US, Cyprus, Israel, Qatar and Algeria, as well as from large international LNG traders, according to Gastrade.
With US LNG exports set to ramp up in the coming years, Greece wants to position itself as a European import center of choice.
In addition to the 5 Bcm/year capacity Revithoussa terminal — being upgraded to handle an additional 2 Bcm/year — the new capacity of the floating import terminal at Alexandroupolis of 6 Bcm/year will give Greece a total LNG import capacity of as much as 13 Bcm/year.