The Alexandroupolis liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal will be a “source of wealth” for the countries of the region and turn the city port into a “global energy hub”, said Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during the signing ceremony with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov in Athens.
The project consists of an offshore floating, storage and regasification unit (FSRU) for the reception, storage and re-gasification of LNG, which will be stationed 17.6 km offshore the town of Alexandroupolis, as well as a gas transmission pipeline.
“In the past, this port was the object of conflicts. Today is an example of how far we can go from peaceful co-existence and economic cooperation for the benefit not only of our two peoples but also of the wider Balkan region,” Mitsotakis added.
He also congratulated Boyko Borisov for the participation of Bulgaria’s gas transportation company, Bulgartransgaz, in the project.
Με τη συμμετοχή της Bulgartransgaz στον Τερματικό Σταθμό Υγροποιημένου Φυσικού Αερίου, η μεγάλη αυτή επένδυση μπαίνει σε κίνηση, με τελικό στόχο να μετατρέψει την Αλεξανδρούπολη σε έναν ενεργειακό κόμβο παγκόσμιας εμβέλειας. https://t.co/UGQnEOOIt1 pic.twitter.com/UiUgwS3FM1
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) August 24, 2020
“Today, with the signing of an agreement between the shareholders, this large investment is set in motion with the ultimate goal of transforming our easternmost European port into a global energy hub. The gas will be liquefied and will meet the national natural gas network and from there it will be channelled at the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023 to Greece, Bulgaria and the whole of southeastern and central Europe,” the Greek PM continued.
He pointed out that despite the complexity and disruption from the pandemic, the project is being implemented without delay. The gas will reach Romania via Bulgaria, while referring to the benefits of detoxification from more polluting and expensive forms of energy, noting that Greece is implementing a plan for the permanent phasing out of lignite by 2028 at the latest.
Mitsotakis also emphasised that “the benefits are also geopolitical. The location of the new station in Alexandroupolis will strengthen its geopolitical character and will increase the number of ships arriving in its ports. This investment will stimulate the dynamic development of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. When the remote regions are prospering, then the whole of Greece is prospering. The port of Alexandroupolis is becoming a hub of cooperation, a source of wealth between our peoples.”
On his part, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov stressed that a few years ago, no one imagined that what is happening would take place. “We made investments, we changed the dynamics, with the investments we made under the roof of friendship with Greece.”
He also pointed out that today the two countries are in this position to realise the vision of the recent past and added that not only there was a bridging of the energy sources but the two countries Greece and Bulgaria became key hubs and now play a central role in energy and its distribution.
Bulgaria is already an shareholder in the project for the Alexandroupolis LNG Terminal. @kmitsotakis and I attended the signing of the contract between the two parties. The project is extremely important for the energy security and diversification in the whole region. pic.twitter.com/26aDbS7qTg
— Boyko Borissov (@BoykoBorissov) August 24, 2020
Borisov noted that the construction of the projects will significantly affect the economy of the countries in the region and pointed out that if one looks at the map of the project, one will realise that the gas flows have changed, something that happened through reactions after confrontations with forces and economic actors.
“And we have reached a solution that satisfies all parties, both investors and partners. This will get gas from all over the world”.
He concluded by thanking the workers “who did not give it up with the coronavirus pandemic and brought things where they are today.’