DEPA pivotal in energy crisis with triple-sized gas orders

The latest round of pressure felt by the energy system is not as acute as the wave experienced over recent weeks, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, determined at a meeting yesterday, and, as a result, set a natural gas consumption limit of 90,000 MWh per day for natural gas-fueled power stations.

DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, which has played a pivotal role in the situation this winter, informed that a new LNG shipment from Algeria is currently being loaded and expected to arrive at Greece’s terminal on the island Revythoussa, just off Athens, this coming Monday.

Authorities have decided that the main power utility PPC’s production units in Lavrio, southeast of Athens, and Komotini, northern Greece, as well as the independent producer Heron’s unit in Viotia, slightly northwest of Athens, will, in the coming days, need to switch to fuel-fired electricity production to the extent considered necessary by IPTO, the power grid operator.

This is not the first time DEPA has needed to step in and play a pivotal role in the effort to ensure the country’s energy adequacy over the past couple of months. Natural gas demand generated by the number of independent electricity producers operating in Greece rose sharply in December and January.

DEPA has needed to make seven extraordinary LNG orders, two of which were shipped in by large-capacity tankers carrying 120,000 cubic meters, to deal with the exceptionally high gas demand this winter, triple the usual amount.

The reduced electricity output in France as a result of the country’s temporary closure of nuclear power stations deprived the European electricity grid of considerable electricity amounts. Major electricity amounts needed to be imported into France from Europe, including Greece.

Under normal circumstances, roughly 15 percent of Greece’s electricity requirements are covered by imported electricity, primarily through interconnections with neighbors in the north and, to a lesser extent, Italy and Turkey.

This winter, the electricity amount that is usually imported into Greece needed to be generated domestically. Technical problems with the Italian interconnection, eventually repaired in late January, also played a role in this winter’s energy crisis experienced in Greece.