North Macedonian state-owned companies National Energy Resources (NER) and ESM signed Memoranda of Cooperation (MoC) to invest in a project for the construction of a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and a gas-power plant off the coastal city of Alexandroupolis in Greece, the government in Skopje said.
North Macedonia plans to invest over 380 million euro ($446.7 million) in a 25% stake in the 800 MW power plant and 370 million euro in a 10% stake in the LNG terminal, prime minister Zoran Zaev told a news conference streamed on the government's YouTube channel on Wednesday.
NER signed a MoC with Eleni Asmina Copelouzos to buy a stake in the LNG terminal, North Macedonia's government spokesperson Muamet Hoxha told the news conference. Copelouzos is a shareholder is Greek company Gastrade, which is developing the LNG terminal.
Furthermore, ESM signed a MoC with Gastrade to reserve capacity at the terminal for a period of 15 years. ESM also signed a MoC with Damco Energy to buy a 25% stake in the natural gas fired power plant, he added.
In a separate press release, Gastrade said the parties will work together in formulating the details of both agreements to be presented to their respective governance bodies for approval.
Gastrade’s existing shareholders are Copelouzou with 40%, Gaslog Cyprus Investments Ltd, DEPA Commercial SA and Bulgartransgaz EAD each with 20%, the Greek company said. It should be noted that Copelouzou has signed an agreement for the sale of 20% of her shares to DESFA S.A. which is subject to the approval of the competent Greek and/or European authorities, Gastrade added.
"NER AD’s and AD ESM’s presence in the project will further strengthen the Project’s strategic and marketing importance, provide Gastrade with additional optionality and commercial sustainability and will have a key role in the enhancement of energy liquidity and the optimization of gas supply in North Macedonia, the penetration of LNG in the region of the Western Balkans, offering to these markets increased energy diversification and flexibility," Gastrade said.
The project supports, complements and works in harmony with, the other existing or planned key gas infrastructure projects in the region such as the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector (IGB), the Greece-North Macedonia interconnector, TAP, the Bulgaria-Serbia interconnector (IBS) and the Revithoussa LNG Terminal, Gastrade also said.
The LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis, which is expected to become operational in early 2023, is planned to comprise an LNG floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), 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.