An investment plan by DESFA, Greece’s natural gas grid operator, covering a ten-year period between 2015 and 2024 and approved by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy on November 27, includes over 2.2 billion euros worth of projects, both well known and not.
The interests of Azeri energy company Socar, the prospective buyer of a minority stake in the operator currrently waiting for the sale’s procedure to be finalized, were taken into account when the investment plan was prepared by DESFA’s management.
The plan includes a 180 million-euro upgrade of an LNG terminal station in Revythoussa, an islet in the Saronic Gulf, close to Athens, now in progress, and which promises to increase the facility’s annual capacity by 40 percent once completed.
Local work required for the interconnection of the Greek, Bulgarian, Romanian and Hungarian gas pipeline networks is also included in the ten-year investment plan.
So, too, is the construction of a new local gas pipeline to run westward from the Greek-Turkish border region in Greece’s northeast towards Igoumenitsa in the northwest. The plan for this pipeline entails linking it with prospective pipelines to run both north and south and cover the mainland. Its cost, including required compressor stations, is expected to exceed 900 million euros. Numerous factors will determine whether this project can be actualized, the main one being its confirmed commercial potential.
Another project included in the ten-year investment plan concerns connecting major industrial units, such as Larco, a state-controlled general mining and nickel producer, and ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum), as well as smaller industrial zones, with the gas network, estimated at 250 million euros.
DESFA has also begun making plans for the development of an LNG loading facility at the Revythoussa terminal, as well as a loading facility especially designed for small vessels, also on the islet, to facilitate transportation of LNG to consumers in areas detached from the country’s natural gas network.
DESFA’s administration believes the operator’s role in the wider European effort to diversify natural gas sources and routes is of strategic importance.