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Gastrade, NER AD, and AD ESM sign agreements for Greek LNG terminal

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LNG Industry,

The Greek company Gastrade SA has announced the signing of the agreements for the co-operation of National Energy Resources (NER AD) Skopje and AD Power Plants of Northern Macedonia (AD ESM) with the Alexandroupolis LNG Terminal.

The agreements were signed in Skopje, Macedonia, by the Vice President of the Board of Directors of Gastrade, Mr. Kostis Sifnaios and the Executive Director of NER AD Mr. Bajram Rexhepi and the President of the Management Board and General Manager of AD ESM Mr. Vasko Kovacevski in the presence of the Prime Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia Mr. Z. Zaev.

NER AD aims at acquiring a share in the share capital of Gastrade whilst AD ESM is interested in reserving capacity at the terminal on a long-term basis. The parties will work together in formulating the details of both agreements to be presented to their respective governance bodies for their approval.

Gastrade is developing the LNG floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) offshore Alexandroupolis in Greece, which will be a new, independent energy gateway for the markets of Southeastern and Central Europe.

The FSRU will be located 17.6 km southwest of the port of Alexandroupolis and will have an LNG storage capacity of 170 000 m3 and a natural gas supply capacity that will exceed 5.5 billion m3/yr. The floating unit will be connected to the National Natural Gas System of Greece via a 28 km long pipeline, through which the regasified LNG will be transmitted to the markets of Greece, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and the wider region from Serbia and Romania to Hungary, Moldova, and Ukraine.

This is a European Project of Common Interest (PCI - EU Regulation 347/2013), a priority project of the EU, which strengthens security of supply, diversifies sources and routes of energy supply, enhances competition and supports the establishment of a Natural Gas trading hub in the wider region of Southeastern Europe, bearing obvious benefits for all final consumers.

The project supports, complements and works in harmony with, the other existing or planned key gas infrastructure projects in the region such as the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector (IGB), the Greece-North Macedonia interconnector, TAP, the Bulgaria-Serbia interconnector (IBS), and the Revithoussa LNG Terminal.

Together with Revithoussa, they provide the only natural gas supply infrastructures in the region which are independent of gas transmission through Turkish soil.

NER AD’s and AD ESM’s presence in the project will further strengthen the project’s strategic and marketing importance, provide Gastrade with additional optionality and commercial sustainability, and will have a key role in the enhancement of energy liquidity and the optimisation of gas supply in North Macedonia, the penetration of LNG in the region of the Western Balkans, offering to these markets increased energy diversification and flexibility.

Gastrade’s existing shareholders are Mrs. Elmina Kopelouzou with 40%, Gaslog Cyprus Investments Ltd, DEPA Commercial SA and Bulgartransgaz EAD each with 20%. It should be noted that Mrs. Elmina Copelouzou has signed an agreement for the sale of 20% of her shares to DESFA S.A. which is subject to the approval of the competent Greek and/or European authorities.

Gastrade’s Managing Director, Mr. Konstantinos Spyropoulos stated:

"We are happy to join our forces with both NER AD and AD ESM in the project. [The] signing of the agreement is to the mutual benefit of our companies and most importantly to the benefit of the consumers in the Republic of North Macedonia and of the Western Balkans. We are looking forward in making this agreement a basis for further expanding the reach of our project taking also advantage of North Macedonia’s strategic location as a gateway to the markets of the Western Balkans. We are proud to add to the ties of our two countries and to support the regional co-operation and understanding in our neighbourhood. We are confident that we can work constructively together in strengthening the energy diversification and independence of our region".

The LNG Terminal in Alexandroupolis is expected to be operational in 2023.

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