A final investment decision (FID) will be taken in the next few weeks for Greece's long-planned floating storage and regasification unit to be based at Alexandroupolis LNG terminal.

Maria Rita Galli, chief executive of Greece's gas grid operator DESFA, told the World LNG Summit & Awards conference in Rome that the project won approval from the European Commission two days ago.

She said DESFA expects to be able to join the project shareholder line-up shortly and be able to take a FID in "a matter of weeks".

On 29 November, the EC gave its approval to the purchase of interests in the planned Gastrade LNG import project by five investors.

The EC said the acquisitions by Greek gas companies DESFA and DEPA Commercial, Greek businesswoman Asimina-Eleni Copelouzou, shipowner GasLog and Bulgarian gas transmission operator Bulgartransgaz, did not raise competition concerns.

GasLog-backed Gastrade has been pursuing the development of the Alexandroupolis FSRU project in northern Greece for over four years.

The much-delayed import terminal will use one of GasLog's 170,000-cbm LNG carriers and is targeting to start commercial operations in early 2023

A 28 km (17 mile) pipeline will connect the FSRU to the natural gas grid of Greece and countries beyond.

Galli told the annual conference, which next year will be held in Athens, that the decarbonisation of southeast Europe is generating more LNG demand.

But she said challenges remain in that the market is not fully integrated and there is a need for further infrastructure.

Galli said Greece has seen a doubling of its natural gas demand in the past five years.

She rattled through a list of potential import projects for the country, adding that further "robust infrastructure" is needed.