Next week, if all goes as planned, the specially configured Gastrade tanker, which will be Greece’s first Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU), begins its long journey from the Keppel shipyard in Singapore.
The final destination of “Orfeas” is the port of Alexandroupolis, after crossing the Indian Ocean, the South Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
Information from the OT, they want the former LNG transport tanker, now built with FSRU technical specifications, to arrive in the Thracian Sea around mid-December.
The approximately 300-meter-long floating unit will moor 17.6 km southwest off the port of Alexandroupolis.
The the only work left is to connect it to the 24 km long subsea and 4 km long land pipeline.
FSRU Alexandroupolis, according to the same information, will be able to receive quantities of LNG cargoes by mid-January 2024 and then gasify them by channeling the natural gas to the Independent Natural Gas System (IGS) and then through the IGB pipeline (interconnecting pipeline between Greece and Bulgaria) to supply the Balkan markets.
It will be permanently moored, and its LNG storage capacity is 135,000 cubic meters, while its technical gasification capacity is estimated at 5.5 billion cubic meters per year.
The floating unit is 288.6 meters long, 44 meters wide and 26.2 meters high.
The FSRU which cost €450 to €470 million having received Community funding of around €270 million.
Gas gateway to SE Europe
FSRU Alexandroupolis comes to strengthen the role of Greece as a hub for the transfer of energy resources to Europe.
Its operation, although the project was planned several years back, comes two years after the geopolitical turmoil triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the need for the E.U. to become independent of Gazprom’s natural gas.
The quantities that will be trafficked will reach Bulgaria, Romania, North Macedonia and even Moldova.
The information says that already 50% of the quantities that can be gasified (5.5 billion cubic meters per year) are already licensed.
The Alexandroupolis FSRU has been characterized by Europe as a project of strategic importance as it diversifies the energy input sources of the Old Continent as well as the mix used by industry and consumers.