Alexandroupolis FSRU Terminal
|This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.|
Alexandroupolis FSRU Terminal is a proposed floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) import terminal in the Aegean Sea, off the coast of Greece.
- Operator: Gastrade
- Owner: Gastrade
- Parent company: Gastrade (20%), GasLog Cyprus Investments (20%), DEPA Commercial (20%), Bulgartransgaz (20%) and DESFA (20%)
- Location: South-west of Alexandroupolis in the Aegean Sea, offshore Greece
- Coordinates: 40.774730, 25.842736 (approximate)
- Capacity: 4 mtpa, 5.5 bcm/y
- Cost: €360 million (US$78 million)
- Financing: €592,419 grant from the EU's Connecting Europe Facility; €166.7 million grant from the European Structural and Investment Funds
- Status: Construction
- Type: Import
- FID status: FID taken
- Start year: 2023
- Associated infrastructure: Alexandroupolis INGS Terminal Pipeline
Note: mtpa = million tonnes per year; bcfd = billion cubic feet per day
Alexandroupolis Independent Natural Gas System (INGS) has planned to develop a floating LNG terminal approximately 17.6 km south-west of Alexandroupolis, Greece in the Aegean Sea. The project is being developed by Gastrade. According to the industry website Offshore Technology, "A front-end engineering design (FEED) study for the development was completed in September 2017." The European Commission (EC) co-funded 50% of the study via the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme with a grant of €592,419. The final investment decision (FIF) for the €370 million (US$419 million) initiative was to have been taken in 2018 but had still not been taken as of the end of November 2021. Construction is expected to be completed within 24 months. The INGS project is aimed at improving energy security across the region and promoting the development of a competitive regional gas trading hub. It will connect to the Greek National Natural Gas System, the Gas Interconnector Greece - Bulgaria (IGB), and the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline.
Alexandroupolis INGS will include a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) with the ability to transport, store and convert LNG into natural gas. It will also be equipped with a subsea and onshore gas transmission system. The floating terminal will have an incoming LNG transfer rate of 10,000 cubic metres per hour (m³/h), a storage capacity of 170,000m³ and a maximum regasification capacity of 700,000 normal cubic metres per hour (Nm³/h). It is expected to receive LNG from carriers through its loading arms and store it in cryogenic tanks. The LNG will then be transferred to the subsea pipeline via a submerged turret and flexible risers."
Also according to the industry website Offshore Technology, "The floating unit will be moored at a distance of 17.6km south-west of Alexandroupolis, and 10km from the shore of the village of Makri in water depths of approximately 40m. The mooring system will comprise a submerged mooring turret and an anchorage system that will include mooring lines and suction anchors. Its turret will hold the unit in a fixed position, enabling 360° rotation based on the direction of the sea currents and waves. The mooring turret’s anchoring system will consist of eight suction anchors, which will ensure the stability and safety of the floating unit in all weather conditions. The mooring system can be disconnected for easy maintenance, as well as for emergency purposes. Regasified LNG will be transported onshore via a gas transmission system consisting of a subsea pipeline and an onshore pipeline. Twin 14in-diameter flexible risers will transmit natural gas from the floating unit’s loading turret to the pipeline end manifold (PLEM) located on the seabed. The PLEM will connect to the 28 km-long, 30in-diameter subsea Alexandroupolis INGS Terminal Pipeline. The pipeline will be laid in water depths of more than 15m and will have a maximum operating pressure of 1,450lb per square inch, or 9,997 kilopascals. The pipeline will be buried in a trench for a distance of 4km as the sea depth decreases to less than 15m for safety reasons. The onshore pipeline will be laid on the coastline of the Apalos area, connecting to the Kipi-Komotini branch of the Greek National Natural Gas System (NNGS) near the Amphitriti village. A new entry station will be built by natural gas operator DESFA near the existing NNGS Alexandroupolis exit station, which is currently being operated by the company. Wood Group was granted the FEED contract for the project. Metocean Services International (MSI) and BMT were jointly awarded a deal to carry out environmental monitoring system (EMS) studies. The two companies will also be responsible for delivering the metocean criteria study in support of the terminal design. The project will be directly connected to the NNGS of Greece and is intended to supply natural gas to the Greek market. It will provide access to south-eastern European markets through various interconnection pipelines. The INGS project is also expected to support the European Union’s (EU) plan to diversify supply sources and routes, and has been included in the third list of Projects of Common Interest (2017-2019)."
The first phase of the Market Test for the capacity commitment at the Alexandroupolis terminal was completed successfully on December 31, 2018. According to an announcement from Gastrade, twenty companies submitted relevant Expression of Interests for a total of up to 12.2 billion cubic meters/year of regasification capacity reservation at the floating terminal and delivery to the Greek National Natural Gas Transmission System. With the successful completion of the Market Test, the project is proceeding to the next Binding Phase.
Opposition groups have cited the low utilization rate of Greece's only operating LNG terminal, the Revithoussa LNG Terminal, to call into question the necessity of an additional terminal. According to Food and Water Europe's 2019 profile of gas use in Greece, "...between January 2012 and March 2019 Revithoussa LNG Terminal operated at only about 14% of its capacity. Even in 2011, when gas demand peaked in Greece, the terminal was used at less than 25% of its capacity.
In August and November 2020 DEPA and Bulgartransgaz and DESFA, respectively, acquired each a 20% stake in Gastrade, the Greek gas company which is proposing an FSRU project offshore Alexandroupolis. The FSRU would be located 17.6 km southwest of the port of Alexandroupolis. For several years, the project was supported by the EU as a Project of Common Interest. In November 2021, the project was not included in the 5th PCI list published by the European Commission.
In January 2022, Gastrade announced that it had taken a FID for the project, also stating that the terminal would become operational by the end of 2023. The FID was welcomed by United States Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt.
In February 2022, Gastrade launched a tender for the construction of the terminal.
In May 2022, Gastrade began construction of the terminal. At an event to mark the start of implementing the project, it was confirmed that the FSRU will be able to regasify 5.5 bcm/y of LNG and store 153,500 m3. Planned to begin operating by the end of 2023, Gastrade said that contracts were in place for up to 60% of the project's technical regasification capacity.
In January 2020, Bulgaria's Cabinet approved state-owned gas grid operator Bulgartransgaz to take a 20 percent stake in the terminal. Bulgartransgaz will acquire the stake from Gastrade, the company developing the project, but no financial details of the transaction were disclosed. The government statement said only that Bulgartransgaz was authorized to carry out investment spending corresponding to its 20 percent stake.
In August 2020, the prime ministers of Greece and Bulgaria signed the agreement for Bulgartransgaz to acquire the 20 percent stake in Gastrade. The project aims to decrease central European reliance on Russian gas. Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis commented, “This large investment will help our ultimate goal of turning our easternmost port into a global energy hub. The benefits are also geopolitical: a new axis of diversification of natural gas routes is being created not only for Bulgaria but also for central Europe which will no longer have a single source of energy.”
In December 2020, it was announced that North Macedonia will take a 10% stake in the project.
Articles and resources
- Alexandroupolis Independent Natural Gas System (INGS), NS Energy, accessed May 9, 2022
- Kick off for the Alexandroupolis FSRU by the Prime Ministers of Greece and Bulgaria, Gastrade press release, May 4, 2022
- Angeliki Koutantou, Greece, Bulgaria say new LNG terminal will help cut reliance on Russia, Reuters, May 3, 2022
- Front End Engineering Design (FEED) & Preparation of the EPC/ITT dossier European Commission, accessed Jan. 8, 2021
- Sanja Pekic, EU approves Alexandroupolis LNG terminal funding, Offshore Energy, Jun. 17, 2021
- "Greece's Gastrade officially starts work on Alexandroupolis FSRU project". LNG Prime. 2022-05-04. Retrieved 2022-05-05.
- Gastrade adopts the Final Investment Decision for the Alexandroupolis Independent Natural Gas System (INGS), Gastrade press release, Jan. 29, 2022
- Amanda Battersby, Greece LNG import project edges closer after key deal signed, Upstream, Jun. 18, 2021
- Alexandroupolis: a new energy and transportation hub for Greece, Greece In America – Newsletter of the Embassy of Greece in the USA, January 2022
- Alexandroupolis Independent Natural Gas System (INGS) Project Offshore Technology, accessed August 5, 2019
- TYNDP - Annex A - Projects Tables ENTSOG, accessed February 4, 2021
- Alexandroupolis Independent Natural Gas System (INGS) Project Offshore Technology, accessed August 5, 2019
- Laxman Pai, Gastrade Completes Alexandroupolis Floating LNG Terminal Test Marine Link, January 4, 2019
- , Food and Water Europe, accessed December 5, 2019
- GIIGNL 2021 Annual Report, accessed May 5, 2021
- ANNEX to COMMISSION DELEGATED REGULATION (EU) …/... amending Regulation (EU) No 347/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the Union list of projects of common interest, European Commission, Nov. 19, 2021
- US envoy welcomes milestone in Alexandroupolis LNG station project, Kathimerini, Jan. 29, 2022
- Invitation to Tender (ITT) for the provision of Owner’s Engineer Services for the construction of the Alexandroupolis Independent Natural Gas System (Alexandroupolis INGS) Project, Gastrade press release, Feb. 18, 2022
- Bulgaria’s Bulgartransgaz to take 20% stake in Alexandroupolis LNG terminal, The Sofia Globe, January 8, 2020
- Greece, Bulgaria hail deal targeting Russia gas dominance, Hellenic Shipping News, Aug. 26, 2020
- Dragana Petrushevska, N. Macedonia to take 10% stake in Greek LNG terminal project - PM, SeeNews, December 31, 2020