The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has expressed interest in the Alexandroupolis floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) project for LNG in order to increase its security of supply.
The acute energy crisis affecting Europe has led to a re-examination of many policies previously considered dead. For example, many countries, like Germany, are reintroducing coal to their power mix in order to reduce natural gas consumption and save it for the next winter. Furthermore, new gas infrastructure projects are back at the forefront of public discussions, as long as they are “hydrogen ready”.
Recent developments have also led to new discussions in the Balkans concerning energy security, alternative gas supplies and new routes and sources of gas, either through pipelines or liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Energoinvest instructed to examine participation in Alexandroupolis FSRU
One such example is the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), which aims to diversify its energy supplies. It should be noted that according to Gazprom, the entity’s only supplier, its gas exports to Bosnia and Herzegovina rose by 55.5% year on year since the beginning of 2022.
The Russian side has claimed gas supplies through the Turkish Stream pipeline wouldn’t stop. Despite that, the local government acknowledged these are uncertain times and that it should be prepared for any outcome when it comes to natural gas. FBiH is one of two entities making up Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other one being the Republic of Srpska.
According to energypress.gr sources from the Ministry of Energy, Mining and Industry of FBiH, there is now interest to participate in the construction of an LNG terminal in Greece. Minister Nermin Džindić wishes to explore all possible alternatives so that FBiH can secure gas supplies. Hence, he instructed Energoinvest to investigate the prospects of participation in the construction of the Alexandroupolis FSRU in Greece, with the results of the relevant research on the possibilities and possibilities of the project to be expected soon.
New pipelines and LNG to diversify gas supply for Balkan nations
It should be noted that North Macedonia has already expressed its interest to take part in the project through state-owned utilities ESM and NER, while Bulgaria’s Bulgartransgaz is already participating.
The goal of the new terminal with an annual capacity of 5.5 billion cubic meters is to provide an entirely new source of natural gas for the Balkan region by using new infrastructure, such as the IGB Interconnector, a pipeline connecting Greece and Bulgaria. IGB is scheduled to come online next month, while Greek Gastrade is already planning a second FSRU in the same area.
In May a ceremony took place for the launch of works of the Alexandroupolis LNG, where the leaders of Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and North Macedonia expressed their belief in the project and highlighted its benefits for the region.
Furthermore, talks between Greece and North Macedonia continue regarding a new gas pipeline. A market test is expected to take place at the end of June to assess the level of interest from market players. The pipeline’s capacity is planned to be 1.5 billion cubic meters with an option to increase it to three billion.
Last but not least, FBiH has expressed its renewed interest in the Ionian-Adriatic Pipeline (IAP), which if completed, will be connected to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) and the Southern Corridor. Another option examined by FBiH is to acquire natural gas from the Krk LNG terminal in Croatia through the construction of a new connecting pipeline.
Džindić: When we look at the price – our price of electricity for households and the price of gas and other energy sources – we have the best electricity price
Earlier this month, Minister of Energy, Mining and Industry of FBiH Nermin Džindić said alternative gas supply routes of gas supply are being discussed because the country relies entirely on gas from the Turkish Stream. Feedback from Energoinvest is expected by the end of this month concerning the best possible solutions.
Apart from the Alexandroupolis LNG and the longer-term IAP project, the ministry is also examining the possibility to use the oil terminal in Ploče in Croatia for LNG.
“When we look at the price – our price of electricity for households and the price of gas and other energy sources, we have the best electricity price,” said Džindić.