Bulgaria's BEH, Greece's Gastrade Set up Team to Build Alexandroupolis LNG Terminal

State-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) Group and Greek gas company Gastrade have established a working group that will draft a proposal for the construction of a liquefied natural gas(LNG) terminal in northern Greece, Gastrade has said.

In the context of Bulgaria’s "strategic decision" to participate in the project forbuildinga afloating LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis, BEH and Gastradehave signed the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the creation of thejoint working group, the Greek company said in a statement on its website late on Tuesday.

The working group will study and propose to the Bulgarian government "the optimum way for the implementation” of the country’s decision to take part in the project

The off-shore Alexandroupolis LNG terminal wouldbolsterBulgaria’s energy security by offering a possibility tothe country to diversify the sources and routes of its natural gas supply, Gastrade said.

Bulgaria relies almost entierely on supplies of Russian natural gas via a pipeline crossing Ukraine to meet its needs.

In addition, Bulgaria can make possible the transmission of gas from Alexandroupolis to the markets of Serbia, Macedonia, Romania and Ukraine through the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB), Gastrade added.

The construction of gas interconnectors with neighbouring countries and Greece in particular is of key importance toBulgaria, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said at a meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias in Sofia on Tuesday.

The IGB link is expected to enter into commercial operation in the middle of 2018. Bulgaria and Greece signed the final investment decision for the project in late 2015.

The LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis has beenincluded in the priority projects of the European Commission for the connectivity of gas insfrastructure networks in Central and Eastern Europe.

The Alexandroupolis projectwill create a fourth natural gasimportgateintoGreece, with a send-out capacity of 6.1 billion cubic meters ofnatural gas per yearand a storage capacity of up to 170,000 cubic meters of LNG, Gastrade has said.



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