London — Gastrade, the Greek developer of a planned floating LNG import facility at Alexandroupolis in northern Greece, on Friday launched the process for binding bids for capacity in the project.
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The deadline for interested participants to submit their offers is February 24, Gastrade said.
Greece already has one operating LNG import terminal at Revithoussa, which started operations in 2000 and expanded its capacity last year, but the government is supporting a second plant as part of efforts to become a regional gas hub.
In the first, non-binding market test, 20 companies submitted expressions of interest for a total of up to 12.2 Bcm/year of reserved regasification capacity in Alexandroupolis LNG.
That is well in excess of the technical capacity of the project, which is designed at 5.5 Bcm/year.
Gastrade said companies that expressed interest in the first non-binding market test -- and new interested parties -- would be eligible to submit binding offers for capacity.
"The project aims to provide a new gateway for gas supply to southeast European markets and will offer to the region security of supply, diversification of gas routes and sources, price flexibility and enhanced competition," Gastrade said.
"It will satisfy growing gas demand in the region in the medium and longer term, provide regional access to LNG and support gas market access and penetration."
The FSRU will have a nominal regasification and send-out capacity of 5.5 Bcm/year, it said, and a peak technical regasification and send-out capacity of 22.8 million cu m/d.
The tender process for the construction of the project is also underway, with a commercial start-up date planned for Q3 2022.
That is later than a previous plan to begin operations in June 2022.
Bulgaria's state-owned gas grid operator Bulgartransgaz earlier this week finalized taking a 20% stake in Gastrade after Greece's DEPA also took a 20% stake in December.
LNG shipper Gaslog also has a 20% stake while Romania's Romgaz is also eyeing a 20% stake.
Should the Romgaz stake be finalized, it would leave the final 20% owned by Gastrade founding shareholder Elmina Copelouzou.
-- Stuart Elliott, Stuart.Elliott@spglobal.com
-- Edited by Daniel Lalor, firstname.lastname@example.org