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SOFIA (Bulgaria), January 8 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's government said on Wednesday that it has issued approval to gas transmission system operator Bulgartransgaz to acquire 20% interest in Gastrade - the company developing a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal off Greece's northern coastal city of Alexandroupolis.
The participation in the LNG terminal project is in line with Bulgaria's long-term energy strategy for diversification of gas supply sources and routes, and will support the development of the country's Balkan Gas Hub project, the government said in a statement.
State-owned Bulgartransgaz will acquire the shareholding interest by financing 20% of the cost of construction of the LNG terminal.
In addition, Bulgaria's state-owned gas supplier Bulgargaz will participate in the LNG terminal's market test by booking between 300 and 500 million cubic metres of natural gas per year for a period of 3 to 5 years. The gas will likely be delivered through the gas interconnector Greece-Bulgaria, which is currently under construction.
The Alexandroupolis LNG terminal project is planned to comprise an offshore floating unit for the reception, storage and re-gasification of LNG and a system of a subsea and an onshore gas transmission pipeline through which the natural gas will be shipped into the Greek natural gas system.
Bulgaria currently imports almost all of the natural gas it needs from Russia. As of January 1, Bulgaria started receiving Russian natural gas via Turkey, replacing the delivery route via Romania and Ukraine.