LNG carrier operator GasLog has closed the sale and purchase agreement (SPA) to acquire a 20% interest in Gastrade.

Gastrade owns a licence to develop an independent natural gas system located offshore Alexandroupolis in Northern Greece by using a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) with other associated infrastructure.

Gaslog announced the acquisition in December last year.

After all closing conditions for this deal have been fulfilled, GasLog has become a 20% shareholder in Gastrade.

A private company registered in Greece, Gastrade was formed by Asimina-Eleni Copelouzou. It has been involved in the development of this FSRU project for several years.

As well as being a shareholder, GasLog will provide operations and maintenance (O&M) services for the FSRU through an O&M agreement.

Currently, Gastrade is holding discussions with various companies to serve as potential investors, including Bulgarian Energy Holding and DEPA, the Greek state-owned gas company.

"The project has already received approval from the Greek and Bulgarian governments, along with EU support."

Gastrade claimed that multiple large-scale international companies have expressed their interest to participate in the ownership and development of the project. 

Several companies have also expressed their intentions to supply LNG to the project.

The FSRU project is expected to become a reliable source of gas diversification to multiple European countries in the south-eastern and central part of the continent.

The project has already received approval from the Greek and Bulgarian governments, along with EU support.

It has been assigned the status of an EU Project of Common Interest that is further designated as a priority EU energy infrastructure project.

The EU is also expected to partially fund the front-end engineering and design of the project, which is expected to start soon.

Gastrade will make the final investment decision by this year-end and the project is expected to become operational by 2019-end.