DESFA sees Alexandroupoli LNG unit as Revythoussa rival

Officials at DESFA, the natural gas grid operator, are viewing plans for the development of a floating LNG terminal (FSRU) in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, as a rival project for the operator’s existing facility in Revythoussa, an islet just off Athens.

Gastrade, a Greek natural gas infrastructure company behind the Alexandroupoli FSRU project’s development, yesterday signed a cooperation agreement with DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, formalizing their affiliation for the prospective LNG terminal in the country’s northeast.

Meanwhile, DESFA is currently upgrading its Revythoussa LNG terminal. The upgrade, budgeted at 45 million euros and expected to be completed in approximately ten months, includes the addition of a third tank and a port infrastructure enlargement that will enable larger-capacity tankers to dock.

Once the Revythoussa terminal’s upgrade is completed it will operate at just 20 percent capacity, based on the current level of activity at the facility. This essentially means the Revythoussa terminal will be in a position to cover increased activity, rendering a second LNG terminal in Greece needless.

The Alexandroupoli FSRU is being supported by the US and EU as its development would facilitate US gas supply across the Greek border to the wider Balkan region and help reduce Russia’s dominance.

However, regardless of whether LNG exports are made from Revythoussa or Alexandroupoli, a metering station situated at Sidirokastro, northern Greece, needs to be upgraded if LNG is to be transmitted to Bulgaria for wider distribution. This metering station is now being upgraded. The effort includes a capacity boost as well as a reverse-flow transmission system.

In addition, the Bulgarian network, currently saturated as a result of Russian gas supply, also requires an upgrade, including greater capacity, if Greek LNG exports are to be transmitted into the neighboring country.

Developers of the Alexandroupoli FSRU should not expect national gas system funding, DESFA sources noted.