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Euroil: North Macedonia eyes role in Greek LNG

Greek LNG developer Gastrade has tapped another investor for its planned import facility in Alexandroupolis.

The company said it had signed a preliminary agreement on transferring a stake in itself to North Macedonian gas distribution operator National Energy Resources Skopje (NER AD). It also reached a second deal with electricity generation firm AD Power Plants of Northern Macedonia (AD ESM), which is interested in booking some of the terminal’s 5.5bn cubic metres per year of regasification capacity 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 approval,” Gastrade said in a statement on April 1.

The Alexandroupolis project calls for the positioning of a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) unit some 18 km south-west of Alexandroupolis, linked to the national grid via a 28-km pipeline. It will join another import terminal in Revithoussa, launched two decades ago. According to Gastrade, it will provide gas to customers not only in Greece but also in Bulgaria and North Macedonia, as well as further afield in countries such as Serbia, Romania, Hungary, Moldova and Ukraine.

Repsol said on April 1 it planned to close its 135,000 barrel per day (bpd) Puertollano refinery in Spain, because of challenging conditions on the fuel market.

The move comes just days after another Spanish refiner, Petronor, majority-owned by Repsol, said it would furlough a third of its 900 employees, highlighting the stress that Europe’s refining sector is under as a result of pandemic travel restrictions.

Repsol has said the Puertollano plant will halt production of all fuels, but has not given a timeframe for the closure. But it said the facility would not resume operations until market conditions had improved.

Lastly, Gas supplier Wintershall Dea has teamed up with another German company, VNG Innovation, to jointly invest in UK firm HiiROC, which has developed methane pyrolysis technology that can produce hydrogen from natural gas.

“HiiROC’s technology offers us a lot of potential for decentralised hydrogen production,” Wintershall’s managing director, Andreas Berger, commented in a statement on March 31.

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