DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, is in the process of readjusting its business plan with the objective of maintaining a leading role amid new market conditions being shaped in the retail gas market. The corporation’s administration anticipates that, besides the retail gas market, the forthcoming changes will eventually also influence the sector’s wholesale market.
“If, for example, each consumer will be able to choose his or her supplier, it would be naïve of us to believe that the gas supply companies (EPA) will continue to be obliged being supplied gas by DEPA,” one official pointed out, reflecting the sector’s overall opinion.
DEPA appears determined to take investment initiatives in the domestic market, while the company is also looking at investment plans for southeast Europe.
Among the thoughts being considered by DEPA to compensate the corporation for its anticipated market share losses as a result of the introduction of competition is a plan to increase the number of customers through the expansion of its distribution network into new local regions, possibly through strategic partnerships with the existing EPA companies, or other investors.
Also being examined by DEPA is the prospect of supplying natural gas to isolated and distant regions by investing in CNG and small-scale LNG systems.
Another DEPA plan entails increasing the usage of gas by drivers through the development of a considerable number of refilling stations around the country. The corporation will also seek to promote LNG as a marine fuel.
DEPA will also look at expanding its business into other energy domains, such as electricity and participation in upstream activities, as collaborative efforts with partners.
As for southeast Europe, DEPA is promoting a plan with an objective to establish Greece as a gas transit corridor from the Caspian region, Middle East, Russia, and the eastern Mediterranean. The plan also includes reverse-flow gas supply from Italy via the TAP (Trans Adriatic Pipeline) infrastructure project, as well as a new LNG gateway from various sources for supply to the Balkans. These plans could establish Greece as a regional gas pricing hub.
DEPA’s development program includes a series of gas infrastructure projects of European and regional importance, such as the Greek-Turkish ITG pipeline, which has been operating since 2007, its expansion to Italy (ITGI), the Greek-Bulgarian IGB pipeline, East Med and Aegean LNG. These projects will also help the company expand its trading activity into southeast European regions.