SOFIA (Bulgaria), September 14 (SeeNews) - Public gas supplier Bulgargaz will apply to reserve additional storage capacity of 500 million cubic metres (mcm) of liquefied natural gas (LNG), or 5.3 million MWh per year, at the planned floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Greece's Alexandroupolis, the Bulgarian caretaker government said on Wednesday.
The application will be submitted to the terminal's operator Gastrade for a 10-year period starting from the date of commissioning of the facility, the government said in a press release.
The Alexandroupolis terminal, which has a total send-out capacity of 5.5 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas, is expected to begin operations by the end of 2023. It will be connected to Greece's National Natural Gas Transmission System (NNG?S) with a 28-kilometre long pipeline, through which the regasified LNG will flow to the markets of Greece, Bulgaria and the wider Southeast Europe (SEE) region, from potential suppliers including the U.S., Algeria and Qatar.
After receiving the requested capacity or part of it, Bulgargaz plans to launch a tender for LNG supply within the total reserved capacity of the terminal for the period 2024-2034, under price terms that align with the reference prices on liquid gas hubs worldwide, the government said.
The future terminal in the Aegean sea is also set to be linked to the Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnector which is scheduled for commissioning on October 1. This would facilitate LNG imports to Bulgaria from diversified sources.
In August, the caretaker government accepted just one out of seven LNG tankers offered by US Cheniere Energy to the previous government, in light of an alleged lack of free unloading slots at Greece's existing Revithoussa LNG terminal.
Bulgarian gas transmission system operator Bulgartransgaz is financing 20% of the cost of construction of the Alexandroupolis terminal in exchange for a 20% stake.
Bulgaria, which has traditionally relied on Russian gas imports to meet some 90% of its consumption, has been at pains to diversify its sources since Gazprom cut off supplies in April over Bulgaria's refusal to meet Moscow's demand to pay for the deliveries in rubles.
Plans to book 500 mcm capacity at Alexandroupolis were first announced in 2020.