Gastrade’s FSRU-based import project in Greece’s Alexandroupolis has taken a step forward following a new approval by the European Commission.
The Commission said in a statement on Monday it had cleared the acquisition of joint control of Gastrade by DESFA, Asimina‐Eleni Copelouzou who is the founding shareholder, DEPA Commercial, GasLog and Bulgartransgaz.
Greece’s gas grid operator DESFA said last year it had purchased a 20 percent stake in Gastrade from Copelouzous but the deal was subject to regulatory approvals.
Bulgaria’s state gas firm Bulgartransgaz purchased a 20 percent stake last year in Gastrade as well. Gastrade and Bulgartransgaz completed this deal earlier this year following the approval by Bulgaria’s competition regulator.
In its statement, the Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, given the presence of competing gas import infrastructures and the Greek regulations in place.
This includes 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, it said.
Earlier this year, the Commission also approved a Greek support measure for the construction of the FSRU-based import terminal in Alexandroupolis.
Under this deal, Gastrade will get 166.7 million euros ($188.7 million) from Greece via the European Structural and Investment Funds.
The LNG import project’s 170,000-cbm FSRU will sit 17.6 kilometers offshore the town of Alexandroupolis in Northeastern Greece.
Furthermore, the 5.5 bcm per year vessel, provided by GasLog, will supply the fuel to several markets in the region.
This includes Greece, Bulgaria and the wider region, from Romania, Serbia and North Macedonia to Hungary, Moldova and Ukraine.
Gastrade aims to launch the LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis in 2023, but it still has to take a final investment decision.