Gastrade second-round market test for Alexandroupoli FSRU in September

Gastrade, heading an effort for the development of an FSRU project in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, plans to stage a binding second-round market test for annual capacity reservations in September, slightly beyond July, as has been previously reported.

Gastrade is currently preparing and submitting various related documents as part of the procedural requirements set by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy. The authority has endorsed Gastrade’s guidelines.

A non-binding first-round market test was completed on December 31 last year. Twenty firms based in various parts of the wider region, as well as major international gas traders, expressed official interest for annual capacity reservations totaling 12.2 billion cubic meters, which exceeded the project’s planned regasification capacity of 5.5 billion cubic meters.

A final investment decision is expected to be reached by the end of the year while the project’s launch is planned for the end of 2021.

Second-round market test for Alexandroupoli FSRU in July

Gastrade, heading an effort for the development of an FSRU project in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, is close to launching a binding second-round market test for annual capacity reservations, seen taking place within July.

The company has requested the approval of market-test guidelines and regulations from RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, sources have informed.

Once this stage has been completed, participants will receive a series of related documents covering issues such as capacity reservation and guarantees.

Pricing policy is among the matters that have been discussed between Gastrade and RAE in the lead-up. Gastrade has opted for a flexible pricing policy promising users a range of choices on aspects such as LNG quantities, products and commitment durations.

Binding second-round market test participants will be given approximately two months to make their capacity reservations for the LNG terminal, sources have estimated.

The market test’s first round, a non-binding stage, was completed on December 31. Twenty firms based in various parts of the wider region, as well as major international gas traders, expressed official interest for annual capacity reservations totaling 12.2 billion cubic meters, which exceeded the project’s planned regasification capacity of 5.5 billion cubic meters.

 

Alexandroupoli FSRU second-round market test terms almost ready

A binding second-round market test for an FSRU project planned for development by Gastrade in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, could be launched immediately following next week’s Greek Orthodox Easter.

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is close to finalizing and endorsing the terms of the market test. The authority has been engaged in continual talks with Gastrade over the past few weeks.

Gastrade is striving to maximize the flexibility of terms and product range to be offered to prospective users of the LNG terminal.

The market test’s first round, a non-binding stage, was completed on December 31. Twenty firms based in various parts of the wider region expressed official interest for annual capacity reservations totaling 12.2 billion cubic meters, exceeding the project’s planned regasification capacity of 5.5 billion cubic meters.

Interested parties intend to supply LNG quantities to markets in the wider southeast European region.

Gastrade plans to make a final investment decision by the end this year, while the project’s launch is projected for the end of 2021.

 

Copelouzos to begin development of Alexandroupoli power plant

The Copelouzos group’s Damco Energy plans to soon start developing a combined cycle power station in northeastern Greece’s Alexandroupoli area with support from a major foreign energy company, not yet named, energypress sources have informed.

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, granted a license for the project just days ago. The Copelouzos group submitted its application in December.

The facility is planned to be linked to the prospective Alexandroupoli FSRU by a company-owned gas pipeline, meaning Damco Energy will avoid transmission costs as the gas grid operator DESFA’s network will not be needed. This should offer the power station a competitive advantage.

Though planned as separate projects, the Alexandroupoli FSRU, an LNG terminal, and the Damco Energy power plant promise to establish synergies as one unit will support the other.

The power plant’s operating costs and production capacity, planned to offer 662 MW over a 35-year period, promise to offer grid dispatch advantages, a related study conducted by the Copelouzos group has shown.

The project is seen contributing to Greece’s wider decarbonization effort and the intermediary role to be played by natural gas in electricity generation until renewable energy sources can fully take over.

The Copelouzos group plans to complete the combined cycle power station’s development in 27 months, while its commercial launch is expected early in the second quarter of 2022, following testing.

 

 

Alexandroupoli FSRU vessel expression of interest date near

Companies eyeing an FSRU project planned for development in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, face a nearing February 15 deadline to submit expressions of interest for provision of a vessel to be used as part of the floating LNG terminal.

This will be followed by a final round for binding offers, expected within the first quarter of 2019, and a finalized investment decision soon after, presumably in the second quarter, when work on the project is planned to commence.

It is estimated the LNG terminal will be completed in the first quarter of 2021, while its launch is planned for the second quarter of 2021.

Meanwhile, a second-round market test offering traders capacity reservations is expected to be held during the second quarter of this year. The first round, completed at the end of 2018, attracted a total of 20 companies expressing interest for an annual capacity of as much as 12.2 bcm, which is more than double the prospective facility’s planned 5.5 bcm capacity.

Apart from Greek and Bulgarian firms that had been expected to take part, the market test also drew companies from the wider region, such as Serbia, Hungary, Romania and Austria, as well as major international traders.

The Alexandroupoli FSRU is planned to be constructed 17.6 km southwest of the Greek city’s port and will include submarine and overland pipeline systems measuring a total of 28 km for links with the country’s gas grid.

The facility’s LNG storage capacity is planned to measure as much as 170,000 cubic meters while its gas supply capacity is expected to reach 900,000 nm3 per hour or 8.3 billion nm3 per year.

 

Strong reservation interest for Alexandroupoli LNG terminal

A market test for an FSRU project planned for development by Gastrade in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece has drawn greater than expected interest from traders for capacity reservations, who expressed interest for a level totaling one and a half times the planned LNG terminal’s full capacity.

A further increase of significant magnitude is expected as a number of major trading firms have requested and been given a deadline extension of a few days to prepare all needed documents for their expressions of interest. The market test’s new deadline has now been extended to December 31.

The overwhelming level of interest ensures the project’s sustainability as well as the development interest of its partners. It also reflects the need of regional countries for alternative natural gas sources as well as an anticipation of a more significant role to be played by LNG in the global energy mix.

Besides the gas utility DEPA and Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH), two companies whose interest in Alexandroupoli FSRU capacity is already widely known, all major traders, Hungarian and Serbian firms, as well as Greece’s main power utility PPC emerged to express interest, according to sources.

Without a doubt, the project, granted PCI status by the European Commission, is politically supported at national, European and cross-Atlantic levels.

According to Gastrade, the project will be ready by the end of 2020. DEPA and BEH are soon expected to be inducted into the project’s consortium as partners. At present, it appears the consortium will be comprised of five partners, each holding 20 pecent stakes – Gaslog, DEPA, BEH, Gastrade and a fifth still-unknown partner.

Alexandroupoli FSRU tender draws major international interest

More than ten companies are believed to have expressed official interest in a tender launched by Gastrade, a member of the Copelouzos group, for provision of a vessel to be used as part of the FSRU facility in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, as well as for the LNG terminal’s development.

The tender’s deadline expired last Friday. Major international players have submitted offers, including foreign companies in collaboration with Greek contractors.

A market test measuring the level of interest for capacity reservations at the planned LNG terminal in Alexandroupoli, promising to serve as a gateway for gas supply to the wider Balkan region, is being concurrently held with the tender. The results of the current market test, whose deadline expires in mid-December, will be pivotal for the project’s final investment decision. A follow-up market test, for binding commercial interest, will also be staged.

The Alexandroupoli FSRU, planned to be constructed as a fixed facility 17.6 kilometers southwest of the city’s port, will have an LNG storage capacity of 170,000 cubic meters and the ability to supply gas at a rate of 900,000 nm3 per hour or 8.3 billion nm3 per year.

Construction of the Alexandroupoli FSRU is scheduled to commence in 2019 while its completion date has been set for July, 2020. The unit’s launch is expected in late September, 2020.

 

First round of crucial market test for Alexandroupoli FSRU launched

Shareholders at Greek gas company Gastrade, seeking to co-develop an FSRU project in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, will need to make final investment decisions following a market test, whose first round, entailing non-binding expressions of interest, was launched yesterday.

Binding bids, for FSRU capacity reservations, will be made in the procedure’s follow-up round.

Granted PCI status by the EU, the Alexandroupoli FSRU is being widely supported, politically, at national, European and cross-Atlantic levels.

Greek gas utility DEPA and Bulgaria’s BEH are both seen as market test certainties. Plans are now at advanced stages for both to each hold 20 percent stakes in a consortium for the Alexandroupoli FSRU’s development. Final approvals for the consortium entries of both are anticipated but still pending.

The emergence of other players, for FRSU capacity reservations, will be pivotal for the project’s development prospects. Gastrade and its project partners will be hoping to see the emergence of key international players aiming to supply gas to the wider region, including US gas exporters, firms associated with the prospective Greek-Bulgarian IGB link, including Serbian, as well as traders operating in the region.

For quite some time now, there has been talk of a US firm entering the Alexandroupoli FSRU consortium with a 20 percent stake. Cheniere has been named as a possibility but another undisclosed US contender is also believed to be in the running.

The Alexandroupoli FSRU consortium was initiated by Gastrade, a member of the Copelouzos group, before Gaslog, an international LNG carrier, also joined. At present, Gastrade holds a 40 percent stake and Gaslog holds 20 percent. DEPA and BEH are also expected to acquire respective 20 percent stakes, while any newcomer is expected to take on half of Gastrade’s current stake.

Surprise US player may enter Alexandroupoli FSRU team

An additional member, possibly a major US player, could join a consortium for the development and operation of an FSRU project in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, with a 20 percent stake, in addition to DEPA, the public gas corporation, and Bulgaria’s BEH, both preparing to also enter the project’s corporate team.

Technical details are now being worked on by the Bulgarian government for the entries of DEPA and BEH to the Alexandroupoli FSRU’s consortium. It was initiated by Gastrade, a member of the Copelouzos group, before Gaslog, an international LNG carrier, also joined.

The government in Sofia is expected to offer its approval within the current month. Once this stage is completed, the consortium will be comprised of Gastrade (40%), Gaslog (20%), DEPA (20%) and BEH (20%). The additional entry being touted would acquire half of Gastrade’s stake, giving all members equal stakes.

Cheniere, the dominant player of the US natural gas market, and another unnamed American enterprise, regarded as a surprise candidate, are both being touted as possible additions to the Alexandroupoli FSRU consortium.

The addition of a non-American enterprise has also been mentioned as Gastrade is believed to be engaged in talks with major traders showing an increasing interest in the specific region.

“A final decision will be reached based on the added value, both strategically and financially, to be brought to the project by the new shareholder,” a source involved in the developments informed energypress.

Meanwhile, a two-stage market test is expected to be launched by mid-September. Gastrade anticipates an accurate measure of the overall commercial interest in the project by the end of 2018, before it makes investment decisions. If all goes as planned, the FSRU project will be ready to operate at the end of 2020.

Important project news is expected to emerge this Friday at a Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce conference in Thessaloniki, held ahead of the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair, opening Saturday.

The Alexandroupoli FSRU is seen as an important project that may ensure supply of new natural gas quantities to the Greek and regional southeast European markets, while also contributing to the diversification of supply sources and routes. The PCI-status project plan is being widely supported at Greek, EU and cross-Atlantic levels.

 

DEPA, Gastrade agree on capacity reservation for FSRU in north

The managing director of DEPA (public gas corporation), Dimitris Tzortzis, and the managing director of Gastrade, Konstantinos Spyropoulos, have reached an agreement in Athens regarding the future capacity reservation by DEPA for the LNG terminal in Alexandroupoli, northern Greece, an EU Project of Common Interest developed by Gastrade, as well as for DEPA’s participation in the relevant market test that will be carried out in the coming months, DEPA has announced in a statement.

The agreement was reached within the context of a trilateral meeting between DEPA, the Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD (BEH) and Gastrade.

This is a follow-up to a cooperation agreement signed by the two parties for the participation of DEPA in the share capital of Gastrade, which is expected to be completed soon, as well as for the joint efforts of the parties for further commercial development of the project.

At the same time, the Bulgarian side, following a meeting in Sofia last month by Greek energy minister Giorgos Stathakis and his Bulgarian counterpart Temenuzhka Petkova, confirmed its intention to speed up respective negotiations for the completion of its own participation in the project.

Gastrade is a Greek company that studies, designs, constructs, manages and operates gas infrastructure. The company has already required all licenses needed to begin constructing the LNG terminal in Alexandroupoli.

The project will ensure new gas quantities for supply to the Greek and regional markets of southeastern Europe, contribute to the expansion of gas supply sources and routes, promote competition to the benefit of consumers, supply security in Greece and the Balkans, and improve the reliability and flexibility of the national natural gas system as well as of the regional and trans-European systems.

In February, 2017, GasLog, an international owner, operator and manager of LNG carriers, announced that it had acquired a 20 percent stake in Gastrade.

GasLog’s consolidated owned fleet consists of 29 LNG carriers (25 ships on the water and four on order).

DEPA, backed by a long presence in the Greek gas market, is a modern and competitive group of companies with a dynamic presence in the energy sector. DEPA promotes the development of strategic infrastructure for the supply of gas from diversified sources and routes at competitive prices, with a view to taking a leading role in the markets of the wider region of southeastern Europe.

Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD (BEH) is the holding company for a group of companies which are principally engaged in electricity generation, supply and transmission, natural gas transmission, supply and storage and coal mining. BEH holds leading positions in the electricity and gas markets in Bulgaria and, through electricity exports, in the Balkans. BEH is wholly owned by the Bulgarian state and is the largest state-owned company in terms of total assets in the country. The rights of ownership of the state are exercised by the Minister of Energy.

 

 

 

Alexandroupoli FSRU business decision seen by end of year

A road map prepared by shareholders of a consortium for the development and operation of an FSRU project in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, lists three basic steps still needed for the venture’s development and operation.

Greece’s DEPA, the public gas corporation, and Bulgaria’s BEH still need to complete negotiations and sign agreements concerning their involvement; an official market test measuring capacity coverage by interested third parties must be staged; and a finalized business plan that would enable the project’s development to commence towards the end of the year, are listed as three pending steps in the road map.

Current developments suggest the official market test will be held imminently, most likely by the summer.

The Alexandroupoli FSRU is seen as a project that may ensure supply of new natural gas quantities for the Greek and regional southeast European markets; contribute to the diversification of supply sources and routes; increase competition, to the benefit of consumers; and boost the reliability and flexibility of both the national and regional gas systems.

These factors have helped reinstate the Alexandroupoli FSRU as an EU Project of Common Interest (PCI).

The project’s interests are linked to those of the Greek-Bulgarian IGB Interconnector.

The Alexandroupoli FSRU plan was initiated by Gastrade, a member of the Copelouzos group, before Gaslog, an international LNG carrier, also officially joined the consortium. Due dilligence is currently in progress for DEPA’s entry with a 20 percent stake. DEPA signed a related agreement with Gastrade in October.

Negotiations with Bulgaria’s BEH are also in progress. The firm’s official entry into the project is expected soon.

 

 

 

PPC seeking natural gas retail, wholesale, infrastructure roles

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has issued a natural gas supply license to the main power utility PPC, the authority has officially announced, paving the way for the electricity company to pursue a revised business plan for the future that is expected to include penetration into the natural gas sector’s retail and wholesale markets, as well as involvement in major-scale gas infrastructure projects.

PPC is preparing its entry into the natural gas market, a development that promises to transform the corporation from a natural gas consumer to a key player, PPC’s deputy chief Stavros Goutsos stressed.

At present, the power utility is the country’s biggest natural gas consumer, requiring approximately 1.4 bcm for electricity generation needs, from 4.8 bcm of the country’s total for this purpose.

According to energypress sources, PPC is examining the prospect of taking part in major natural gas sector projects such as the Kavala gas storage facility, the FSRU in Alexandroupoli, CNG development around the country, as well as small-scale LNG infrastructure development for supply to the islands.

The same sources informed that PPC is also looking to become involved in the LNG spot market as its plans include importing LNG shipments.

As for the retail gas market, PPC is striving to offer combined gas and electricity packages to consumers by October. Rival firms are already offering such combined packages.

PPC will aim for a retail gas market share of around 30 percent given its substantial client base in the electricity market. The firm is taking its cue from similar moves taken by major power firms around Europe that have also entered natural gas markets. The growth prospects promised by the Greek gas market represent a key incentive.

 

Fifth investor seen joining Alexandroupoli FSRU consortium

Heightened investor interest in the prospective LNG terminal in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, is expected to soon lead to the addition of a fifth member into a consortium established to develop the project, energypress sources have informed.

A fifth member is expected to be announced before the end of the year, offering participants respective 20 percent stakes.

An increasing number of companies are considering joining the consortium, spurred by the transatlantic political support of the FSRU project, confidence of its actualization, and recent rentry on the EU’s Projects of Common Interest (PCI) list.

Firms considering joining the consortium are primarily American and European, sources have informed. Some of these are active in the production and trade of natural gas, while others are European network operators, sources added.

The Alexandroupoli FSRU plan was initiated by Gastrade, a member of the Copelouzos group, before Gaslog, an international LNG carrier run by Panagiotis Livanos, and, most recently, DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, also officially joined the consortium. Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) is also set to join, as the consortium’s fourth member.

Gastrade and its consortium partners are currently engaged in negotiations with interested parties to decide on a fifth consortium member.

 

 

New leadership appointed at DEPA gas corporation

The two leading officials at state-controlled DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, have been replaced by new faces hailing from the private sector, the energy ministry, TAIPED, the state privatization fund, and ELPE, which holds a 35 percent stake in DEPA, have decided, it has been confirmed.

Theodoros Kitsakos, DEPA’s outgoing chief executive officer, has been replaced by Dimitris Tzortzis, who possesses an extensive track record in private-sector enterprises involved in networks and telecommunications, as well as public administration.

Velissarios Dotsis, who also hails from the private sector and, in addition, has worked at Enterprise Greece, a government-sponsored group promoting investment opportunities in Greece and exports, has been named the new DEPA president.

The gas corporation’s new leadership will need to tackle a wide range of issues, including development of international projects such as the Greek-Bulgarian IGB interconnector; the floating LNG terminal at Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece; matters concerning the Greek energy market’s liberalization; DEPA’s future role in the country’s retail natural gas marketl as well as the debt problems of two major-scale customers, ELFE (Hellenic Fertilizers and Chemicals) and EBZ (Hellenic Sugar Industry).

Tzortzis, the new chief executive officer, is a graduate of the National Technical University of Athens, where he studied Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering. His past work contracts have included a 14-year tenure at Intracom, spells at Attica Telecommunications, HOL, the secretary general post at EETT (Hellenic Telecommunications & Post Commission) between May, 2015 and April, 2016, when he resigned, as well as an Intralot subsidiary.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

DEPA chief invites Serbia to take part in Alexandroupoli FSRU, IGB pipeline

The head official at DEPA, Greece’s Public Gas Corporation, has extended an invitation to Serbia for participation in major energy projects planned for the region, namely the Greek-Bulgarian IGB gas pipeline interconnection and a floating LNG terminal in Alexandropoli, northeastern Greece.

Theodoros Kitsakos, DEPA’s chief executive officer, asked Serbian officials for the country to become involved in these projects during a series of meetings in Serbia.

Kitsakos visited the neighboring country to take part in an ecomomic forum earlier this week, held to discuss regional energy developments.

The DEPA chief met with key Serbian officials, including the gas utility and energy ministry heads, as well as energy-sector entrepreneurs, as part of an effort to promote DEPA’s strategic plan for the wider region.

Speaking at the economic forum, Kitsakos stressed the considerable gas needs of the wider Balkan region and Europe, overall, require the utilization of additional supply sources.

European gas consumption requirements represent 13 percent of global demand but the continent’s gas deposits amount to just one percent of the world’s total supply, Kitsakos pointed out.

Kavala gas storage facility to reenter PCI list, decisions today

The development of an underground natural gas storage facility at a depleted deposit in south Kavala, removed from the EU’s list of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) two years ago, is expected to be reincluded, which would provide the project with access to EU funding, while the Alexandroupoli FSRU, also in the country’s north, stands a decent chance of being added to the list, when regional working groups gather for a Brussels meeting today to make final decisions on the content of the 3rd PCI list. This finalized list will then need to be endorsed by the European Commission.

A first list of PCIs was published in 2013 and a second in 2015.

Energy projects are selected for PCI inclusion based on a number of criteria, including their impact on at least two EU countries, as well as their ability to enhance EU market integration, increase competition and security of supply.

The Alexandroupoli FSRU, whose development would facilitate LNG supply, especially American, to the wider Balkan region and help reduce Russia’s dominance, was not included on a provisional PCI list prepared on June 30 as a lead-up to the latest gathering of regional working groups.

The Greek government, maneuvering in search of political support for PCI inclusion of the Alexandroupoli LNG terminal, has received considerable European and US backing for the project, seen as one of strategic importance.

Kavala gas storage facility and Alexandroupoli LNG terminal aside, all other PCIs of Greek interest, five in total, should maintain their places on the updated list, energypress sources informed.

The Poseidon submarine gas pipeline linking Greece and Italy is one of these. This pipeline is planned to be incorporated with two other prospective projects, Turkish Stream, to transmit Russian natural gas to the region, and East Med, to carry southeast Mediterranean natural gas deposits along a route stretching from Israel to Europe.

East Med is also expected to keep its place on the PCI list.

So, too, is the submarine Euro Asia Interconnector, to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli electricity networks.

The Greek-Bulgarian IGB Interconnector, promising a cross-border gas pipeline link, and the Tesla natural gas pipeline, planned to connect with Turkish Stream for a vertical crossing through Greece, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Fyrom), Serbia and Hungary, make up the other two projects seen holding on to their PCI list places.

Tellurian named as US firm considering Alexandroupoli FSRU involvement

Tellurian Energy has been identified as the previously unnamed US firm interested in entering a consortium to develop a floating LNG terminal (FSRU) in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, energypress sources have informed.

Last week, Greece’s energy minister Giorgos Stathakis disclosed that a US firm, which he did not name, and BEH (Bulgarian Energy Holdings) were both negotiating their possible involment in the LNG project.

The Alexandroupoli project plan was initiated by Gastrade, a member of the Copelouzos group, before Gaslog, an international LNG carrier operator, and, most recently, DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, also joined in.

The newly formed Tellurian Energy, founded by experienced officials, including from the ranks of Cheniere Energy, the biggest exporter of American natural gas, is now laying the groundwork for a dynamic entry into the global LNG market.

Tellurian Energy is headed by Charif Souki, who, during his previous tenure at Cheniere Energy, had represented the company in talks for that firm’s entry into the Alexandroupoli LNG venture.

Amos Hochstein, until recently a former US Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, is a key member of the administration at Tellurian Energy, which he joined earlier this year.

Tellurian Energy is planning to develop an export and LNG production terminal in Louisiana. Its construction is expected to begin next year while the facility is planned to start operating in 2022.

This terminal is budgeted at between 13 and 16 billion US dollars while the development of pipeline infrastructure to link the facility with natural gas fields is budgeted at a further 1.6 to 2 billion US dollars.

 

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.

 

 

DEPA, Gastrade formalize their Alexandroupoli LNG affiliation

Top officials of DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, and Gastrade signed a Cooperation Agreement in Athens today for DEPA’s involvement in the prospective LNG terminal planned for  Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, a project being developed by Gastrade.

The project has been classified as a Project of Common Interest (PCI), facilitating EU funding.

The cooperation agreement, making DEPA’s involvement official, was signed by Theodoros Kitsakos, chief executive officer at DEPA, and Konstantinos Spyropoulos, Gastrade’s managing director. It includes the next steps to be taken for DEPA’s participation in Gastrade’s share capital, as well as a list of common efforts required by both parties to make progress with the project’s commercial development.

The Alexandroupoli LNG terminal promises to secure new natural gas supply quantities for the Greek and regional southeast European markets; offer new gas sources and routes; promote competition to the benefit of consumers; enhance supply security in Greece and the Balkan markets; and improve the reliability and flexibility of the Greek National Natural Gas Transmission System and of the regional and trans-European gas networks.

Over the past two years, DEPA and Gastrade have held a series of constructive meetings, staged to push forward their cooperation with regards to the project, both at national and European levels, and to create the optimal set-up for its development, construction and operation.

DEPA, backed by an extensive Greek gas market presence, is a modern and competitive group with dynamic presence in the energy sector. The corporation promotes the development of strategic infrastructure for the supply of natural gas from diverse sources and routes at competitive prices, with an objective to establish its leading role in the markets of the wider southeast European region.

Gastrade, a Greek utility company that studies, designs, develops, operates and exploits natural gas infrastructures, has obtained all necessary licenses for the Alexandroupoli LNG project,  enabling construction to commence.

Last February, Gaslog, one of the largest international owners, operators and managers of LNG carriers, acquired a 20% stake in the share capital of Gastrade via a 100% owned affiliate. Gaslog owns, operates and manages a fleet of 27 LNG carriers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two extra partners, including US firm, joining FSRU plan for Alexandroupoli

Negotiations aiming for the entry of two extra stakeholders into an existing three-member consortium planning to develop a floating LNG terminal (FSRU) in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, have reached an advanced stage.

BEH (Bulgarian Energy Holdings) and an unnamed US company are the two new firms currently negotiating their involment in the project.

The Alexandroupoli project plan was initiated by Gastrade, a member of the Copelouzos group, before Gaslog, an international LNG carrier operator headed by Peter Livanos, and, most recently, DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, also joined in.

The current talks are headed towards an agreement that would provide all five stakeholders with equal shares, 20 percent each, in the venture.

The Alexandroupoli LNG terminal was the focus of attention at a recent Economist conference. Greece’s energy minister Giorgos Stathakis disclosed, at the event, that talks were underway for the addition of a new US stakeholder. Kate Marie Byrnes, Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Greece, described the prospective Alexandroupoli FSRU as a priviledged LNG entry point, including for American LNG.

The Alexandroupoli project’s development would facilitate US gas supply to the wider Balkan region and help reduce Russia’s dominance.

Project officials are looking to have the Alexandroupoli LNG relisted as a Project of Common Interest (PCI), which would enable EU funding and support the facility’s development. The EU generally backs projects promising energy diversification.

An existing LNG terminal operates on Revythoussa, an islet just off Athens. A third tank is being added to this facility to increase its capacity.

 

DEPA confirms interest in Alexandroupoli FSRU project

DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, has confirmed its interest to become involved in a prospective floating LNG terminal (FSRU) planned for Alexandroupoli, it became known during an energy conference staged at the northeastern port city just days ago.

The Alexandroupoli FSRU, a project to be developed by Gastrade, was a key subject at the event, whose proceedings included discussions between company officials. US support for the geopolitically significant FSRU was reiterated at the Alexandroupoli conference by the US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey R. Pyatt.

The Alexandroupoli project’s development would facilitate US gas supply to the wider Balkan region and help reduce Russia’s dominance.

DEPA has requested a feasibility study for clarification of various details concerning the Alexandroupoli FSRU and also to help determine whether the objective of establishing the city as an energy hub should be pursued.

One issue requiring further thought is how the Alexandroupoli LNG terminal will be successfully added to Greece’s gas sector given that a third tank is currently being developed at the country’s only exisiting LNG facility at Revythoussa, an islet just off Athens.

Transportation cost issues also need to be taken into account. Reaching Alexandroupoli from Mediterranean waters requires an additional day or day and a half of sailing time compared to the Revythoussa location.

Funding issues as well as undetermined technical and financial matters also need to be worked on.

DEPA officials have ascertained the company’s willingness to participate in the Alexandroupoli LNG project but noted that the involvement’s terms are being closely examined.

Project authorities are looking to have the Alexandroupoli LNG relisted as a Project of Common Interest (PCI), which would enable EU funding and make possible the facility’s development. The EU generally supports projects promising energy diversification.

On a related front, the consortium looking to develop the Greek-Bulgarian IGB interconnection – which promises to benefit the Alexandroupoli LNG, and vice versa –  yesterday announced that five companies have expressed an interest to reserve respective pipeline capacities through a market test.

 

 

 

Gastrade announces tender for Alexandroupoli FSRU pipelines

Gastrade has anounced a tender seeking construction firms for pipeline development linked to a floating LNG terminal (FSRU) planned for Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece.

The FSRU project, taken on by Gastrade, is envisaged to be connected to Greece’s natural gas grid.

Construction companies have been invited to submit bids for two pipeline sections – submarine and overland. The split of the LNG terminal’s pipelines into two sections is expected to help local construction firms participate in the international tender.

The project’s technical planning stage, funded by the EU, is expected to be completed within the third quarter of the current year; the tender for the project’s construction is scheduled to proceed in the fourth quarter of this year; while a final decision is planned for the first quarter of 2018, Gastrade has announced.

Gastrade has set a September 15 deadline for bids.

 

Alexandroupoli FSRU project headed for PCI list reentry

The prospective floating LNG terminal in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, stands a serious chance of regaining its place on a list of EU Projects of Common Interest (PCI), the results of a latest regional working group meeting in Brussels have indicated.

The Greek government’s effort to put the Alexandroupoli floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) back on the PCI list, which would facilitate EU funding, is believed to have gained momentum. The project is now expected to be placed in a second-tier group of projects seeking entry into the PCI list and, from there, eventually be promoted to the main PCI list, an energypress source informed.

The Alexandroupoli FSRU, to be developed by Gastrade, is expected to gain further PCI credibility once plans to develop the nearby Greek-Bulgarian IGB gas interconnector have been finalized.

As was recently reported by energypress, a plan to transform a depleted natural gas deposit in south Kavala, northern Greece, into an underground gas storage facility has regained its place on a revised PCI list, released on June 30.

The south Kavala underground gas storage facility had been removed from the PCI list during a revision made two years ago.

All other infrastructure projects of Greek interest have retained their places on this revised PCI list. These include the Poseidon gas pipeline, planned to run from Greece to Italy, indicating that this project is a serious contender for a role in a prospective new route to carry Russian gas to Europe (Turkish Stream) as well as another major project to bring gas to Europe from the eastern Mediterranean (East Med).

The Euro Asia Interconnector, a submarine cable project to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli electricity networks, as well as East Med, a prospective gas pipeline to transmit gas from Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to mainland Greece via Crete, have also retained their places on the PCI list.

So, too, has the IGB, the Greek-Bulgarian Interconnector, for which a final investment decision is expected imminently.

Tesla, a prospective natural gas pipeline to offer a link from Greece to Austria, is also on the updated PCI list.

 

 

IGB’s final market test to take place in autumn, officials agree

A final market test for the prospective IGB (Greek-Bulgarian Interconnector), entailing the submission of binding bids by gas traders for the allocation of pipeline capacity, will take place this coming autumn, officials agreed at a meeting in Sofia today involving the participation of energy minister Giorgos Stathakis and his Bulgarian counterpart Temenuzhka Petkova.

EU funding for the IGB project has been ensured through respective National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) programs, Teodora Georgieva and Konstantinos Karayannakos, the executive officers of ICGB, the consortium established to develop the IGB project, informed the meeting’s participants while also stressing that major progress has been made over the past two years.

The project’s licensing procedure is at an advanced stage and awaiting pending regulatory decisions, the ICGB officials informed.

Stathakis and Petkova also discussed the prospective floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece.

The IGB and Alexandroupoli FSRU will be designed to complement each other while the development of these two projects promises to create a competitive market that will have a positive impact on regional natural gas price levels, the Greek energy ministry noted in a statement.

The productive cooperation achieved between Greece and Bulgaria in the energy sector promises to ensure natural gas supply diversification in southeast Europe, the ministry’s announcement stressed.

The two ministers pledged to further enhance the mutually beneficial Greek-Bulgarian cooperation in the energy sector.

Officials at the meeting agreed that the Alexandroupoli FSRU’s completion will need to coincide with the commercial launch of the IGB project, scheduled for early 2020.

Kavala gas storage unit back on PCI list, FSRU in north ejected

A plan to transform a depleted natural gas deposit in south Kavala, northern Greece, into an underground gas storage facility has been re-included on an unfinalized list of EU Projects of Common Interest (PCI), while the development of a new floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, to be developed by Gastrade, has been removed from the list.

Latest revisions to the list, still unfinalized, were made during a session on June 30. EU officials are expected to meet in mid-July to finalize the PCI list before it is endorsed by the European Commission.

Over the past few days, the Greek government has intensified efforts to also have the Alexandroupoli FSRU included on the PCI list, which would facilitate EU funding.

The south Kavala underground gas storage facility, now back on the PCI list, had been removed during a revision made two years ago.

Its construction cost has been slashed to about half of an initial estimate of 400 million euros, which makes the project’s sustainability less demanding.

Energean Oil & Gas, the Greek firm exploiting deposits in the wider Kavala region, holds the rights to the depleted south Kavala deposit. The company has made repeated requests for a conversion of its existing south Kavala deposit license into a gas storage license, which is permittted by current law.

All other infrastructure projects of Greek interest have retained their places on the PCI list, energypress sources have informed.

These include the Poseidon gas pipeline, planned to run from Greece to Italy, indicating that this project is a serious contender for a role in a prospective new route to carry Russian gas to Europe (Turkish Stream) as well as another major project to bring gas to Europe from the eastern Mediterranean (East Med).

The Euro Asia Interconnector, a submarine cable project to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli electricity networks, as well as East Med, a prospective gas pipeline to transmit gas from Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to mainland Greece via Crete, have also retained their places on the PCI list.

So, too, has the IGB, the Greek-Bulgarian Interconnector, for which a final investment decision is expected imminently.

Tesla, a prospective natural gas pipeline to offer a link from Greece to Austria, is also on the updated PCI list.