Excelerate Energy L.P. (Excelerate), ExxonMobil LNG Market Development Inc. (ExxonMobil), and the Republic of Albania (The Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on March 12, 2021, to conduct a feasibility study for the potential development of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) Project in the Port of Vlora in Southern Albania.

Under the MOU, Excelerate will conduct a study to explore the potential of an integrated LNG to power solution that includes developing an LNG import terminal, converting and/or expanding the existing Vlora thermal power plant, and establishing small scale LNG distribution to Albania and the surrounding Balkans region.
“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,” stated Steven Kobos, President and Chief Executive Officer of Excelerate. “We are pleased to work with our partners in developing a reliable and affordable solution for Albania’s energy resilience.”

Home to eight major river systems, Albania relies on hydropower plants, which can become unreliable during times of drought, to supply energy to the country’s 2.8 million residents. LNG would bring reliable, affordable, and cleaner energy to the region and complement Albania’s hydropower-based electricity production. As the leader in floating LNG regasification solutions, Excelerate Energy has delivered reliable and clean energy to markets across the globe, developing and operating 13 LNG terminals worldwide.  The Vlora project is the latest example of Excelerate’s emphasis on greater integration of services to serve gas and power customers better.

The Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, Belinda Balluku said, “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.”

ExxonMobil, one of the largest natural gas producers in the U.S. and a significant producer of LNG around the world, will lead the charge on identifying opportunities to support the supply of LNG into Albania and the LNG Import Project, as a project of National Strategic Importance.

“LNG enables transportation of natural gas from supply centers to customers safely and cost effectively,” said Ed Austin, ExxonMobil LNG Strategy and Portfolio Manager. “While we are at the early stages of exploring this opportunity, ExxonMobil’s global resources and reliable LNG supply chain can help Albania meet its fast-growing demand for natural gas and ensure long-term supply security.”

The pre-feasibility report is expected to be delivered in Q3 2021, while the targeted start-up for the LNG Import Project could be as early as 2023.