On Tuesday, Greece launched a liquified natural gas terminal which is being developed in Alexandroupolis, aimed at helping Europe and the Balkans become less reliant on Russian supplies.
The LNG terminal is a “beacon sending a dual message: that with its completion we will soon be able to rid ourselves of gas coming from Russian sources and that our countries are assuming a common role on the new energy map,” Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.
The terminal will be a “new energy gateway” to Europe he said in a speech at a ceremony attended by European Council President Charles Michel, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, and the prime ministers of Bulgaria, Kiril Petkov, and North Macedonia, Dimitar Kovacevski.
LNG terminal to diversify gas supply for Greece, Balkans
Mitsotakis noted that in less than 20 months, gas supply will be diversified not only for Greece but also for the entire Balkan Peninsula.
“Greece, therefore, is quickly transformed into an energy hub of the region, but, at the same time, a strategic gateway for the entry of energy resources to Southeastern Europe as a whole,” Mitsotakis announced.
The new terminal, slated for launch in December 2023, is expected to bolster Greece’s energy security and enhance its regional strategic role while also providing an alternative natural gas supply route that does not pass through Turkey and will reduce dependence on Russian gas.
It is also expected to prompt closer cooperation in the Balkan region in the field of energy.
The project includes the construction of a floating station for the reception, storage, and regasification of LNG, as well as a system of a subsea and an onshore gas transmission pipeline through which the natural gas is shipped into the Greek National Natural Gas System (NNGS) and onwards to the final consumers.
It will be located at a distance of 17.6 km southwest of Alexandroupolis and 10 km from the nearest coast and would also have the capacity to connect with and transmit gas into other gas transmission systems which are planned in the same geographical region, such as TAP (Trans Adriatic Pipeline).
It will have a send-out capacity of 700,000 cubic meters of natural gas per hour or 6.1 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year and a storage capacity of up to 170,000 cubic meters of LNG.
Greece accelerates gas exploration projects
Mitsotakis, who met the country’s hydrocarbons commission and energy industry executives in April, said that Greece will speed up gas exploration projects in concert with private investors.
“Accelerating the exploitation of the country’s national energy resources will allow us, if we are lucky and we have exploitable natural gas fields, to boost our energy independence, our energy security,” he said.
By 2023, it will be known whether it has natural gas reserves that are economically viable to extract, as the country attempts to cut its reliance on Russian energy, he posited.
“We have indications that make us cautiously optimistic. We have to know with certainty whether there are reserves that are economically viable to extract. We will know…by the end of 2023,” he concluded.