Gastrade, heading an effort for the development of an FSRU in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, is preparing to launch a binding second-round market test.
RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has approved the procedure’s finalized texts concerning participation terms and conditions, indicative tariffs, schedules and a capacity reservation model for the LNG terminal.
The second-round market test could be completed by the end of January, it is anticipated. This would pave the way for a final investment decision by the company while a concurrent effort is made to finalize the venture’s equity make-up.
Besides the Copelouzos group, the venture’s initiator, GasLog, active in LNG transportation, is also on board with a 20 percent stake. A final decision by gas utility DEPA on its participation, also with a 20 percent stake, remains pending.
DEPA’s prospective involvement in the Alexandroupoli FSRU project, considered a certainty, has been passed on to DEPA Trade, a new entity established in preparation for DEPA’s privatization.
A final decision by Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) concerning its possible entry with a 20 percent stake is also pending.
An effort offering the remaining 20 percent is in progress. Candidates include Romgaz, Romania’s biggest natural gas producer and main supplier in the domestic market. The company’s shareholders recently voted to enter the Alexandroupoli FSRU project.
“We are very optimistic. We believe we will do better than what we need to in order to make the final investment decision,” Gastrade’s chief executive Costis Sifneos noted recently.
Greece’s decarbonization program, announced recently by the government, will bring about major changes to the country’s energy mix, according to Sifneos. He expects the domestic natural gas market to grow from its current size of 4.5 billion cubic meters, annually, to 7 billion cubic meters over the next 5 to 7 years.
The Greek gas market has grown by 17 percent this year alone, while, for the first time, LNG quantities exceeded pipeline gas.