US LNG firm Excelerate Energy and ExxonMobil LNG Market Development are to carry out a feasibility study into developing an LNG project in the Port of Vlora in the south of Albania.
The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Albania’s Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy for the study. The MoU was signed by Excelerate CEO Steven Kobos, ExxonMobil LNG Market Development vice-president T Edward Austin and the Albanian minister of infrastructure and energy Belinda Ballaku.
The possible project includes an LNG import terminal, converting and/or expanding the existing Vlora power plant, and an LNG distribution network to Albania and the surrounding Balkans region. Albania currently relies on hydroelectricity, but this is unreliable during droughts. LNG would provide a reliable and affordable alternative.
Excelerate, which has already developed and operates 13 LNG terminals around the world, will conduct the feasibility study. ExxonMobil LNG Market Development will explore opportunities for supplying LNG to the project. The pre-feasibility report will be completed by Q3 2021, and the import project could start up in 2023.
‘Supply diversification and the enhancement of supply security are crucial to Albania and to our Balkan neighbors as well. We are confident that LNG can be the key to achieving these strategic objectives and to finally providing a solution to the complex Vlora TPP project by choosing the best partners, equipped to deliver a project of such magnitude,’ says Ballaku.
Kobos adds: ‘As Albania looks to improve energy security and resiliency, we are confident that an LNG solution would provide reliability to the country’s power grid while complementing intermittent renewables and alternative resources.’