Alexandroupolis LNG Terminal

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.
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Alexandroupolis LNG Terminal is a proposed LNG import terminal in the Aegean Sea, off the coast of Greece.

Location

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Project Details

  • Owner: Gastrade (80%), Bulgartransgaz (20%)[1]
  • Location: south-west of Alexandroupolis in the Aegean Sea, offshore Greece
  • Coordinates: 40.774730, 25.842736 (approximate)
  • Capacity: 4.5 mtpa, 6.1 bcm/y[2]
  • Status: Proposed
  • Type: Import
  • Start Year: 2023[3]

Note: mtpa = million tonnes per year; bcfd = billion cubic feet per day

Background

Alexandroupolis Independent Natural Gas System (INGS) has planned to developed a floating LNG terminal approximately 17.6km 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. The final investment decision for the €370m ($435m) initiative will be taken in 2018. Construction is expected to be completed within 24 months. The INGS project is expected to improve energy security across the region and promote the development of a competitive regional gas trading hub.

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."[4]

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 24 km-long Alexandroupolis INGS Terminal Pipeline, a 30in-diameter subsea 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)."[5]

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.[6]

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.[7]

Ownership

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 per cent stake.[1]

In August 2020, the prime ministers of Greece and Bulgaria signed the agreement for Bulgartransgaz to acquire the 20% 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.”[8]

Articles and resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Bulgaria’s Bulgartransgaz to take 20% stake in Alexandroupolis LNG terminal, The Sofia Globe, January 8, 2020
  2. LNG Investment Database Gas Infrastructure Europe, October 2019
  3. LNG Terminal in Northern Greece European Commission, accessed December 2, 2019
  4. Alexandroupolis Independent Natural Gas System (INGS) Project Offshore Technology, accessed August 5, 2019
  5. Alexandroupolis Independent Natural Gas System (INGS) Project Offshore Technology, accessed August 5, 2019
  6. Laxman Pai, Gastrade Completes Alexandroupolis Floating LNG Terminal Test Marine Link, January 4, 2019
  7. [1], Food and Water Europe, accessed December 5, 2019
  8. Greece, Bulgaria hail deal targeting Russia gas dominance, Hellenic Shipping News, Aug. 26, 2020

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