National Natural Gas System Operator (DESFA SA) officially became a partner in the shareholding structure of Gastrade SA – the company that develops the Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Alexandroupolis – with the acquisition of 20% of its share capital on Thursday.
The shares’ transfer agreement was signed by CEO of DESFA Maria Rita Galli and Founding Shareholder and Chairman of the Board of Gastrade Elmina Copelouzou at the Gastrade premises in Athens.
The signing of the agreement came after the recent approval by the European Commission – based on the EU Merger Regulation – for the acquisition of joint control of Gastrade by DESFA, Elmina Kopelouzou, DEPA Commerce A.E., GasLog Cyprus Investments Ltd. and the Bulgarian Bulgartransgaz EAD (“BTG”).
The construction of the Alexandroupolis Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Terminal will actively contribute to the country’s energy security, liquidity and efficiency and will strengthen Greece’s strategic role in SE Europe, offering opportunities for new natural gas exports to the region. This is a crucial European project of Common Interest (PCI – Project of Common Interest – EU Regulation 347/2013), which is a priority for the European Union, as it strengthens security and diversifies the sources and routes of energy supply.
In addition, the project promotes competition among gas suppliers and supports the creation of a transaction hub in the wider region of Southeastern Europe, leading to lower prices that will benefit all final consumers.
The FSRU will be connected to the National Natural Gas Transmission System of Greece with a 28 km long pipeline, through which the LNG will be promoted to the markets of Greece, Bulgaria and the wider region, from Romania, Serbia and Ν. Macedonia, as far as Moldova and Ukraine. The terminal is expected to be operational by 2023.
As Gastrade’s Kopelouzou stated, “Today, another important step for the emergence of Greece and especially of Alexandroupolis as an energy hub for the Balkans and Europe is made. We welcome DESFA to Gastrade, being convinced that with our full shareholder structure, the project of the Terminal in Alexandroupolis will play a leading role in the green transition of European networks, while strengthening the security of energy supply, for the benefit of both national economies, as well as the citizens.”
DESFA CEO Galli noted in this regard: “With the signing of today’s agreement, DESFA becomes officially part of Gastrade and of a project that will contribute significantly to energy security and to the upgrading of Greece’s role in regional energy developments. DESFA’s long experience in the management of the LNG terminal of Revithoussa makes it a valuable partner with top know-how and is a proof of its constant commitment to the development of natural gas infrastructure. We continue to invest in new technologies, in new uses of natural gas, in domestic and international energy projects, always moving in the strategic direction of the energy transition.”