Cheniere set to ‘invest in Greece and supply US LNG’

US energy company Cheniere, primarily active in LNG-related businesses, is ready to invest in Greece as the country, along with the wider region, all dependent on Russian gas supply, offers solid market prospects, Jean Abiteboul, President of Cheniere Supply & Marketing, in Athens for talks with local officials, has declared.

The efforts of DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, over the past year have been pivotal in the clear interest now being expressed by the US company, authorities have told energypress. Cheniere now views DEPA as a prospective strategic partner in the region.

“We believe that if we supply US gas [to the region] we will help diversify sources and reduce price levels in the region,” Abiteboul noted, adding that the effort to supply US gas in the wider Balkan region is being supported by both the US and Greek governments.

Cheniere, which operates two natural gas liquefaction plants in Louisiana and Texas, will be the first American company to start exporting US shale gas as of 2016.

Cheniere officials yesterday held talks with top-ranked officials at Greece’s energy ministry.

Abiteboul said Greece’s plan to establish a floating LNG terminal in Alexandroupoli, in the country’s northeast, a project being planned by Gastrade, a member of the Copelouzos corporate group, and which could involve DEPA’s participation, offers potential for the wider region and could develop it into an energy hub.

He also noted the Alexandroupoli LNG terminal has been classified as a Project of Common Interest (PCI), meaning that the EU is ready to finance the project.

The Cheniere official said the US company had been approached to consider participating in the development of the Alexandroupoli LNG project, noting it could take on a minority stake without a managerial role as the company’s key interest is focused on supply.

Abiteboul said he did not yet have a figure for the project’s cost, adding that a fifty percent share could be covered by EU subsidies. The Cheniere official stressed American gas prices are extremely competitive.