GasLog Ltd, an international owner, operator and manager of LNG carriers, today announced that a wholly owned subsidiary has entered into a sale and purchase agreement (SPA) to acquire a 20 percent shareholding in Gastrade SA.
Gastrade is licensed to develop an independent natural gas system offshore Alexandroupolis, northeastern Greece, utilizing a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) along with other fixed infrastructure.
Gastrade is a private limited company, incorporated in Greece and wholly owned by Asimina-Eleni Copelouzou.
Gastrade has been involved in the development of this FSRU project over a number of years. Closing of the SPA acquisition is subject to the satisfaction of certain closing conditions set out in the transaction documents. GasLog, as well as being a shareholder, will provide operations and maintenance services for the FSRU through an O&M agreement.
Gastrade is currently in discussions with a number of additional potential investors, including DEPA, the Greek state-owned gas company, Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH), the holding company of the Bulgarian Ministry of Energy and major gas suppliers. Other large-scale international companies have expressed an intention to participate in the ownership and development of the terminal. A number of companies have also expressed interest in supplying LNG to the project.
This FSRU project would provide a new route and a vital source of gas diversification to a number of European countries that are currently highly dependent on pipeline gas in southeast and central Europe. Besides enhancing security of supply in the region, it will promote competition and pricing flexibility.
The project has the backing of the Greek and Bulgarian governments as well as the support of the EU. It has been assigned EU Project of Common Interest (PCI) status, designating it as a priority EU energy infrastructure project. The front-end engineering and design (FEED) study is expected to be part-funded by an EU grant, and is scheduled to commence in early 2017.
Gastrade aims to make a final investment decision by the end of 2017 with the FSRU scheduled to be operational by end of 2019.
Paul Wogan, Chief Executive Officer of GasLog Ltd., commented: “I am delighted that GasLog has been invited to join Gastrade. This is a strategically important energy import project for the region. The FSRU will be used as a gateway for LNG imports into southern Europe, where there is a growing demand and a need to diversify existing gas supply. This announcement, alongside GasLog’s ordering of long-lead items, demonstrates the ongoing development of the company’s FSRU strategy.”
Konstantinos Spyropoulos, Chairman and Managing Director of Gastrade, added: “We are very pleased to have GasLog involved in the project. Their long, successful track record in the maritime and, in particular, LNG sector, coupled with their leading innovation initiatives, makes them an excellent partner to take the project forward. We look forward to working with GasLog to bring this project to commercial operation.”
Monaco-based GasLog is an international owner, operator and manager of LNG carriers. GasLog’s fully-owned fleet includes 18 LNG carriers (including 13 ships in operation and 5 LNG carriers on order). GasLog has four LNG carriers operating under its technical management for third parties. GasLog partners LP, a master limited partnership formed by GasLog, owns a further nine LNG carriers.