Russia Poised to Ship First Cargo From New LNG Plant to Greece

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(Bloomberg) — Russia will send the first shipment from its newest liquefied natural gas terminal to Greece, a surprise destination as Europe tries to reduce its dependency on Moscow for energy supplies.

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The first cargo from the Portovaya LNG plant on Russia’s Baltic coast will head to Greece, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter, who declined to be identified because the information is private. The buyer of the cargo wasn’t disclosed. 

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The new terminal, near the shuttered Nord Stream gas pipeline to Germany, is starting amid an unprecedented energy crisis aggravated by Russia’s decision to slash flows to Europe. But while pipeline supplies have virtually halted, the super-chilled fuel from another Russian LNG plant is still landing in European ports. 

Gazprom didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Russian gas giant Gazprom PJSC completed 72-hour testing on the small-scale facility Monday, with “some paperwork” remaining to be done, Deputy Chief Executive Officer Vitaly Markelov said earlier this week. The plant has already produced some 30,000 tons of LNG.

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There are currently no sanctions on Russian LNG in Europe, although the UK stopped taking super-chilled fuel from the country after the war in Ukraine started.

Greece’s sole LNG facility can send out 6 billion cubic meters a year, about half of which goes north to Bulgaria and North Macedonia and the rest to the domestic market. Bulgaria was cut off from Russian pipeline gas earlier this year after it refused to comply with new payment terms from Russia. 

Gazprom Starts Producing LNG at Plant Near Nord Stream Pipeline

The Pskov LNG tanker is currently moored at Portovaya LNG plant, taking the first shipment onboard, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.

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