WWF and Greenpeace challenge environmental permit for the Alexandroupolis FSRU

Posted on September, 26 2023

Fossil gas infrastructures have a huge impact on the climate and nature. In addition to their large climate footprint and other serious environmental impacts in their areas of development, storage and processing facilities, such as the FSRUs planned in the region of Thrace and elsewhere, are infrastructures causing major-accident hazards (explosion, gas leakage, etc.).

In Evros, an area heavily impacted by the recent massive wildfire that burnt uncontrolled for two weeks, two LNG regasification units (FSRUs) are planned in the marine area of Alexandroupolis, within the Natura 2000 protected site "Thrace Marine Area - GR1110013".

In a hierarchical appeal to the competent authorities, environmental organisations WWF Greece and Greenpeace request the annulment of the recent decision to amend and renew the environmental conditions for the Alexandroupolis FSRU. According to legal analysis of the two organisations, the renewal of the environmental permit for this facility violates existing national and EU law on major accident protection (Seveso III Directive) and on nature conservation. The legal challenge highlights the following, among other, violations:

  • Violation of the legal prohibition of constructing Seveso facilities within Natura 2000 sites (Biodiversity Law 3937/2011).
  • Extension of a permit for a hazardous installation, without taking into consideration the fact that the original conditions have changed significantly.
  • Ignoring the obligation to inform and consult with the public, as required by EU environmental and energy law.
  • Sidelining and not assessing the increase in greenhouse gas emissions caused by the project.

WWF Greece and Greenpeace ask the competent minister of Environment and Energy to cancel the environmental approval and the installation permit of the Alexandroupolis FSRU.

While Greece offers favourable conditions to energy giants for the construction of new fossil gas infrastructure, the Prime Minister calls on the international community to take action to address climate change. Within the past two months, Greece has suffered the devastating impacts of the climate crisis and still mourns the loss of lives, natural ecosystems, economic assets cause by the dramatic wildfires and the unprecedented floods. Sinking into a deeper dependence on fossil gas is a recipe for disaster.

Link to the appeal (in Greek): https://wwfeu.awsassets.panda.org/downloads/wwf_greenpeace_ierarxikiprosfygi_alexandroupolis_fsru.pdf

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