The construction of the Alexandroupolis liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in the Aegean Sea offshore Greece is on schedule and the first deliveries are expected in January 2024, according to Vladimir Malinov, head of Bulgaria’s public gas transmission system operator Bulgartransgaz.
Offshore pipe laying at the Alexandroupolis floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) is estimated to be done in full by the end of July, Malinov added in a press release.
“In order to guarantee the possibility of storing the delivered quantities, we work actively also on the expansion of the gas storage in Chiren, planned to be put into operation by the end of 2024,” Malinov added.
The Alexandroupolis LNG terminal, in which Bulgartransgaz owns a 20% stake, has a regasification capacity of 5.5 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year. Bulgaria, which uses some 3 bcm of natural gas per year, has booked an annual storage capacity of 1 bcm at the terminal. The facility is being developed by project company Gastrade, which has four other shareholders with stakes of 20% each – Greek gas transmission operator DESFA, Gaslog Cyprus Investment, Greek gas supplier DEPA Commercial and Elmina Copelouzos of the Copelouzos Group.
The commissioning of the LNG terminal will also further accelerate plans to increase the capacity of the Greek-Bulgarian natural gas interconnector to 5 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year from the current 3 bcm, while linking up global LNG producers and traders and the Southeast European gas market, the pipeline’s operator ICGB has said.
In partnership with its peers from neighbouring countries and ICGB, Bulgartransgaz is also working on projects to increase the transmission capacity from Greece to Bulgaria and from Bulgaria to Romania, as shown by the recently launched market tests whose success could allow capacity increase projects to be implemented as early as 2026, Malinov said.