Region, Work has begun on the Alexandroupolis LNG terminal as an alternative to Russian gas

, SEE Energy News

In the presence of high-ranking officials from the European Union and the prime ministers and presidents of the countries from the region, the works on the construction of the terminal for liquefied natural gas Alexandroupolis LNG officially started on Tuesday. The terminal in the port of the same name in northeastern Greece could be a significant project for energy security in Southeast Europe and the Balkans, as it provides a new direction for natural gas supply during the energy crisis and conflict in Ukraine.

The ceremony was attended by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Northern Macedonian Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski, European Council President Charles Michel, as well as representatives of Gastrade, ministers and parliamentarians. Most of these countries are highly dependent on Russian gas supplies, and Gazprom recently cut off supplies to Bulgaria because it did not agree to pay invoices in rubles.

Alexandroupolis LNG will be a floating liquefied natural gas terminal that will provide 5.5 billion cubic meters per year for the markets of Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Northern Macedonia. The expected start of work is December 2023.

The terminal is linked to other projects, such as the Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) gas interconnector, which will be operational from September 2022, but also other pipelines under construction, such as those between Bulgaria and Serbia, and Greece and the North. Macedonia. All these projects will enable these countries to reduce their dependence on Russian natural gas by diversifying their routes and sources of supply.

SEE countries have been making rapid moves in recent months to provide alternatives to Russian gas.

EU members discussed the issue of paying for gas in rubles at an extraordinary meeting of energy ministers on Monday, but did not reach a common position. The European Commission presented a REPowerEU plan in early March to reduce European imports of Russian gas by two-thirds by the end of the year, and fully by 2030, which will be an expensive undertaking.

Three more LNG terminals and one interconnection are planned in Greece

In addition to the project in the port of Alexandroupolis, another investment is planned for the import of LNG from the Greek refinery Motor Oil in Corinth called Dioriga LNG. The final decision on the investment is expected at the end of this year, and the annual capacity will be 2.5 billion cubic meters.

At the same time, Elpedison has the Thessaloniki FSRU project, which is expected to become operational in 2025, and Gastrade announced today that he has received permission from the regulator for his second floating terminal to be installed near Thrace.

When it comes to gas pipelines, the Greek operator DESFA and the northern Macedonian NER are planning a new interconnection with a capacity of 1.5 billion cubic meters per year, with the option of increasing it to three billion cubic meters. This investment is expected to reach 110m euros.


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