The European Commission (EC) said on Monday that it has approved the acquisition of joint control of Gastrade, the Greek company developing the floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal off the city of Alexandroupolis, by Greek-based companies Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA) and DEPA Commercial, private individual Asimina‐Eleni Copelouzou, Cyprus' GasLog, and Bulgarian gas transmission system operator Bulgartransgaz.
The proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, given the presence of competing gas import infrastructures and the Greek regulations in place, including those concerning the tariffs to be charged by LNG terminals and those laying down access obligations to LNG terminals and to DESFA's transmission system, the Commission said in a statement.
Earlier this year, Gastrade said that the deal for the participation of Bulgartransgaz with 20% in its share capital was completed, following the approval by the Bulgarian competition authority. The participation of state-owned Bulgartransgaz in Gastrade is a solid proof of the regional profile of the project and it constitutes a catalyst for the integration of Southeast European gas markets, securing energy liquidity and pluralism throughout the region, Gastrade said at the time.
The LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis is planned to comprise an LNG floating storage and regasification unit which will be a new, independent energy gateway for the markets of Southeastern and Central Europe. The station will have an LNG storage capacity of 170,000 cubic meters and a natural gas supply capacity that will exceed 5.5 billion cubic meters per year. The floating unit will be connected to Greece's national natural gas system via a 28 km long pipeline, through which the regasified LNG will be transmitted to the markets of Greece, Bulgaria and the wider region, from Romania, Serbia and North Macedonia to Hungary, Moldova and Ukraine.
The LNG terminal project is expected to commence operations in 2023.