Bulgargaz books more Alexandroupolis FSRU capacity

Bulgaria’s Bulgaragaz said it has booked additional capacity at Gastrade’s FSRU-based LNG import project in Alexandroupolis, which is expected to launch operations next year.

Bulgaraz, a unit of state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding, previously booked 5.3 TWh per year or about 500 million cubic meters per year.

Now it has doubled the capacity to 10.6 TWh per year or about 1 billion cubic meters per year, according to a statement released on Monday.

The contract is for a period of ten years, starting from the year of commercial operation of the LNG import terminal, Bulgargaz said.

Bulfargaz said the signing of the deal follows a decision by the Bulgarian caretaker government on September 15 to book additional capacity at the LNG terminal.

“The increase in the storage and regasification capacity of the liquefied natural gas terminal near Alexandroupolis by Bulgargaz ensures the energy security of the country, the continuity of supplies, and the diversification of natural gas supply sources and routes,” it said.

US LNG shipments

Bulgaria recently decided to take only one out of seven LNG cargoes US LNG exporting giant Cheniere had offered to Bulgargaz.

The country secured an unloading slot in Turkey at a “competitive price”, allowing it to import one LNG cargo from Cheniere in October.

The government said that Bulgaria did not manage to book unloading slots for LNG shipments in November and December due to high reservation prices.

With this, the option for four LNG shipments in 2023 also fell trough.

New tenders

Bulgaria’s energy ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that Bulgargaz is launching three new tenders for the supply of LNG.

The LNG supply tenders include short-term supplies for November and December this year, for 2023, and for a 10-year period from 2024 until 2034, according to the statement.

In July, Greece and Bulgaria completed a new pipeline which will allow Bulgaria to import natural gas from Azerbaijan and Gastrade’s FSRU-based Alexandroupolis LNG import project.

Bulgaria’s Bulgartransgaz has a 20 percent in the LNG import project.

Besides Bulgartransgaz, Gastrade’s shareholders include founder Copelouzou, DESFA, DEPA, and GasLog.

In May, Greece’s Gastrade officially started building its FSRU-based LNG import project following the final investment decision in January.

With this project, Greece will get its first FSRU and the second LNG import facility, adding to DESFA’s import terminal located on the island of Revithoussa.

Greece’s first FSRU will connect to the gas grid via a 28 km long pipeline to supply the markets of Greece, Bulgaria, and the wider region.

To remind, shareholder and LNG shipping firm GasLog told Singapore’s Keppel Offshore & Marine earlier this year to proceed with the conversion of the 153,600-cbm LNG carrier GasLog Chelsea to an FSRU.

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