BEH to soon enter Alexandroupoli FSRU with 25% stake, deputy says

Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) expects to soon enter a consortium planning to develop a floating LNG terminal in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, with a 25 percent stake, the company’s deputy chief executive officer Severin Vartigov noted during a speech at Energy Academy, a recent conference staged by the Greek Energy Forum in Athens.

Vartigov described the Alexandroupoli FSRU and the Greek-Bulgarian IGB gas pipeline interconnection as complementary projects to contribute to source  diversification and supply security in the wider southeast European region.

BEH will acquire a 25 percent stake in the Alexandroupoli FSRU consortium as soon as a due dilligence procedure has been completed, the BEH official noted.

The Alexandroupoli FSRU plan was initiated by Gastrade, a member of the Copelouzos group, before Gaslog, an international LNG carrier, and, most recently, DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, also joined in. Besides BEH, Tellurian Energy, a US firm, has also considered entering the consortium.

Vartigov reminded that a construction permit for the IGB project’s Bulgarian segment was issued in September. He noted the project soon stands to secure additional EU funding worth 37.5 million euros for the increased level of competitiveness the project promises to offer.

The BEH deputy noted the IGB consortium is working intensively to ensure EU funding.

Vartigov told the conference the IGB interconnection will be completed and ready to operate by the end of 2019.

The Bulgarian official also expressed aspirations for development of a Serbian-Bulgarian gas pipeline interconnection. He described this plan as a low-cost project as Serbia has already been offered EU funding that would cover 60 percent of the cost of the segment covering Serbian territory. BEH is ready to cover the cost concerning the Bulgarian side, Vartigov said.

A Romanian-Bulgarian gas pipeline interconnection has been completed but, at present, can only flow one way, from south to north, as a result of low pressure hampering Romania’s natural gas grid, Vartigov noted. He said he is confident the Romanian government will soon install new compressors to boost the national gas grid’s pressure and enable reverse flow.