US lends support to Alexandroupoli FSRU plan
Speaking on Thursday to the chief executive officer of Public Gas Corporation (DEPA), Konstantinos Xifaras, US Ambassador in Athens Geoffrey Pyatt expressed Washington’s warm support for the project of the Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) off Alexandroupoli in northeastern Greece, as it assists the US in its strategy for the diversification of Europe’s energy sources.
“The US warmly supports the participation of DEPA in major projects that promote that strategy, especially the new liquefied natural gas [LNG] terminal of Alexandroupoli and the IGB, TAP and EastMed pipelines, that are projects which literally change the energy map of Europe,” Pyatt said.
“These are also projects of crucial significance for peace and security in the region and will render Greece a regional energy junction,” he added.
The meeting took place just before DEPA makes its final decisions about its participation in the market test carried out by Gastrade, the Copelouzos group subsidiary that runs the FSRU.
DEPA’s management has linked its 20 percent participation in Gastrade’s share capital with the reservation of capacity and expects the proposals by its competent agencies to decide on the quantities it will reserve and the period of capacity reservation at the FSRU.
The other stakeholders in Gastrade are Bulgargaz (20 percent), which has also expressed an interest in reserving natural gas quantities, and shipowner Peter Livanos’ GasLog with another stake of 20 percent.
Five more companies are seeking to obtain a stake in Gastrade, including Romania’s Romgaz and the Greek gas network operator DESFA. The Copelouzos group would prefer a company that would combine its entry into the share capital with the reservation of gas quantities.
Public Power Corporation sources tell Kathimerini that the electricity utility is also considering its participation in the market test.
Besides the American support, the Alexandroupoli FSRU project has also secured that of the European Union, which has included it in the Projects of Common Interest.