US floating LNG player Excelerate Energy plans to deploy its FSRU Excelsior to serve the Vlora LNG project in Albania after the unit completes its contract in Israel.
This was revealed during the company’s first-ever conference call held last week. The FSRU operator controlled by billionaire George Kaiser had completed its initial public offering in April.
Last year, Excelerate Energy signed a deal with Italy’s Snam and Albanian state-owned gas firm Abgaz to build a natural gas pipeline in Albania.
Prior to that, Excelerate signed a memorandum to conduct a feasibility study for the potential development of an integrated LNG-to-power solution, including an LNG import terminal in the Port of Vlora in southern Albania.
Launch of terminal and power plant in second half of 2023
In January 2022, Excelerate received approval from the Albanian government to proceed with the second phase of the feasibility study for the Vlora LNG terminal and the power plant.
In addition, Excelerate’s CEO Steven Kobos said during the company’s conference call that the firm would provide two power barges to Albania on an emergency basis.
“We have executed a definitive commercial agreement for two years of service and expect the power barges to come online in the second half of this year,” Kobos said.
The Vlora LNG project would help mitigate Albania’s current energy crisis driven by the highly volatile cost of power imports from Europe, according to Excelerate. Albania currently has no LNG import facilities.
Kobos said that the firm continues to work with Snam and Abgaz to connect the Vlora LNG terminal to other European natural gas infrastructure.
According to Kobos, the LNG terminal has the capability to boost energy security of Albania, Italy, Bulgaria, and other countries in Europe’s southern gas corridor.
“We expect the Vlora LNG terminal and power plant project to come online in the second quarter of 2023,” the CEO said.
According to Excelerate, the project scope includes deploying one 138,000-cbm FSRU, jetty modifications, and 350 MW power plant reactivation and expansion.
The 2005-built FSRU currently serves Israel’s Hadera deepwater LNG terminal but its contract would end at the end of this year.
Excelerate’s CCO Daniel Bustos said during the call that the company’s goal is to deploy the Excelsior FSRU in Albania.
Following the completion of the job in Israel, the FSRU would go to a drydock to undergo enhancements specific for the Albanian project, he said.
Bustos added that the FSRU should be employed under a long-term deal in Albania.