DEPA not yet ready to decide on LNG station involvement

The prospective IGB (Interconnector Greece Bulgaria) pipeline and floating LNG station in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, are directly linked projects, Theodoros Kitsakos, the recently appointed chief executive officer at DEPA, Public Gas Corporation, has pointed out.

DEPA is keeping a close watch on the Alexandroupoli LNG project but is not yet ready to make a decision on its possible involvement, Kitsakos informed. The LNG station will be developed by the Copelouzos Group, which is engaged in talks with DEPA about the latter’s participation.

A successful market test for the IGB plan and the project’s development will greatly determine the commercial potential of the Alexandroupoli LNG station, as well as DEPA’s role, Kitsakos explained.

Kitsakos remained particularly reserved about DEPA’s involvement in major international projects but stressed the corporation remains interested and active.

“We’ve seen and heard many things over the past few years. I would say I’m holding a medium-sized basket, neither big nor small,” he remarked.

A finalized investment plan signed last month for the IGB project comes as a major first step for the project’s development, but much will depend on the results of a second market test. It needs to be completed by February 29. A first market test had indicated that a one billion cubic meter amount would remain unsold.

Kitsakos indicated that DEPA and its partners at Poseidon – a joint venture formed by DEPA and Italy’s Edison to construct and operate the IGB pipeline’s Greek side – are not only ready to conduct the required work on the project within Greece but also willing to participate in its development on the Bulgarian side.

The IGB project has been classified as a Project of Common Interest (PCI) by the European Union and, as a result, has secured roughly 45 million euros of EU funding, representing one quarter of the project’s total cost.