July 15, 2021
This cooperation is aimed at strengthening Albania’s energy infrastructure and reinforcing supply.
The Woodlands, TX Excelerate Energy L.P. (Excelerate), Snam S.p.A (Snam), and Albgaz Sh.a (Albgaz) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), in Tirana, Albania, to explore potential cooperation for the construction of a natural gas pipeline from the Albanian Vlora Terminal to other natural gas infrastructure opportunities in Albania.
Under this MOU, Excelerate, Snam, and Albgaz will explore joint solutions, which could potentially supply underground gas storage in Albania, providing crucial energy security to the region.
“Leveraging our downstream capabilities and working alongside Albania to explore expanding their access to reliable energy, we are able to take an integral step towards energy security for the country,” stated Steven Kobos, President and Chief Executive Officer of Excelerate. “Together with Snam and Albgaz, we recognize the potential impact this pipeline can have for the region.”
As the leader in floating LNG regasification solutions, Excelerate has delivered reliable, clean energy to markets across the globe, developing and operating 13 LNG terminals worldwide. This MOU is the latest example of Excelerate’s emphasis on greater integration of services for gas and power customers.
Snam is one of the largest energy infrastructure owner and operators in the world and a leading shareholder in the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). Snam and Albgaz’s Albanian Gas Service Company Sh.A, who maintain the gas transmission network in Albania, could potentially operate and maintain the future pipeline.
“This MOU further strengthens our commitment with Albania initiated four years ago,” said Mario Franchin, Senior Vice President Global Solutions Commercial at Snam. “It marks another important step forward in the development of Albania’s energy strategy and Snam is pleased to share its experience and know-how to support the country and Albgaz in its path in the energy transition.”
Mr. Arber Avrami, CEO of Albgaz underlined, “This is a unique opportunity for Albania, to cooperate with such big actors that can provide essential knowledge and experience in order to deliver benefits not only from gas transmission activities but also to exploit an important natural asset such as Dumrea underground gas storage. This can offer energy security options not only for Albania but also reliable energy supply for international gas networks.”
The MOU was signed at the Palace of Congresses in Tirana by representatives from each entity: Arber Avrami, CEO, Albgaz; Oliver Simpson, Vice President of Commercial, Excelerate; and Mario Franchin, Senior Vice President Global Solutions Commercial, Snam. The planning is expected to begin immediately with representatives from each company forming a coordination team.
Earlier this year, Excelerate, along with ExxonMobil, and The Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy signed an MOU to conduct a feasibility study for the potential development of an LNG import terminal in the Port of Vlora in Southern Albania.
Snam is one of the world’s leading energy infrastructure operators and ranks among Italy’s largest listed companies, by market capitalization. Through its international footprint, Snam operates in Albania, Austria, France, Greece, Italy, UAE and UK and has started activities in China and India. The Group has the largest natural gas transportation network (over 41,000 km including international assets) and storage capacity (approx. 20 bcm including international assets) among its European peers and is also a leading player in regasification. Snam invests in biomethane, energy efficiency, sustainable mobility and hydrogen. The Group also operates in forestation and is committed to achieving carbon neutrality (Scope 1 and Scope 2) by 2040.
Albgaz Sh.a. was founded in January 2017 as a joint-stock company with 100% of the shares owned by the Albanian state and operates as a combined operator performing the activity of transmission system operator and natural gas distribution system operator in Albania. The main activity of Albgaz Sh.a. is to supply natural gas through the transmission, distribution, storage, and natural gas plant network.