Gas grid operator DESFA and energy ministry officials are currently discussing financing options that could be sought for the operator’s plan to develop a gas pipeline needed to facilitate a gas network expansion in northern Greece’s west Macedonia region, energypress sources have informed.
DESFA is awaiting approval by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, for its ten-year development plan, worth more than 545 million euros, including the gas pipeline project.
The talks between DESFA and the energy ministry officials are focused on public funding possibilities, primarily European, to cover part of the cost of the gas pipeline, which would ultimately help contain the level of network usage tariffs to be covered by consumers.
Local officials anticipate this network expansion plan should qualify for EU development fund support, even though EU policy generally does not favor gas projects, as it clearly represents a development project that promises multiple regional benefits, including replacement of lignite-based energy, on the way out as a result of the country’s decarbonization strategy.
Besides the EU recovery fund, officials in Greece are also considering the prospects of financial support from the EU’s National Strategic Reference Framework or a number of regional development programs.
The gas network expansion plan in the country’s west Macedonia region will require the development of a 130-km gas pipeline from Trikala, in the mainland’s mid-north, a project budgeted at 110 million euros.
According to sources, DESFA has revised an original pipeline route plan, bringing the pipeline closer to cities where medium and low-pressure networks for households and businesses are to be developed by gas distributor DEDA.