ATHENS, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- A signing ceremony for the participation of Bulgartransgaz EAD (BTG), operator of Bulgaria's National Natural Gas System, in the Alexandroupolis liquefied natural gas terminal project in northern Greece took place on Monday in Athens.
In the presence of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borissov, CEO of Bulgartransgaz Vladimir Malinov and Elmina Kopelouzou, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gastrade SA, the Greek company developing the project off the shore of Alexandroupolis port, signed the deal.
The agreement foresees the participation of the Bulgarian company by a percentage of 20 percent in the share capital of Gastrade, according to an e-mailed press release issued by the Greek company.
Gastrade is developing an LNG floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) offshore Alexandroupolis, which aims to be a new, independent energy gateway for the markets of southeastern and central Europe.
The station will be located 17.6 km southwest of the port of Alexandroupolis and 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, Gastrade said.
The floating unit will be connected to the National Natural Gas System of Greece via a 28-km-long pipeline, through which the regasified LNG will be transmitted to the markets of Greece, Bulgaria and the wider region, according to the press statement.
The project with a budget of 383 million euros (452 million U.S. dollars) is supported by the European Union and aims to strengthen the security of supply.
It completes the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector (IGB) involving Bulgarian Energy Holding, the parent company of Bulgartransgaz, and DEPA Commercial, through which natural gas will be channeled from the LNG Terminal in Alexandroupolis to Bulgaria and from there to the other markets of Southeast Europe, the press release added.
DEPA along with GasLog Cyprus Investments Ltd, a maritime corporation that operates a fleet of LNG carriers, is also participating as shareholders in the project.
"With the signing of an agreement between the shareholders, this large investment is set in motion with the ultimate goal of turning our easternmost port into a global energy hub," Mitsotakis said addressing the event, which was broadcast by Greek national broadcaster ERT.
"We have reached a solution that satisfies all sides, both the investors and the partners. We have found the way so that we will be supplied with natural gas from every part of the world," Borissov said on his part, stressing that the project which proceeds in the midst of a pandemic, will support the economies of the countries in the region. (1 euro = 1.18 U.S dollars)