The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed loan agreements worth 285 million euros with PPC, the main power utility, DESFA, the natural gas grid operator, and IPTO, the power grid operator, to improve electricity transmission and the interconnection network across the country.
The ageements between the three Greek energy companies and the EIB concern the development of power stations on 18 islands in the north and east Aegean, the Cyclades, Dodecanese, and the Diapontia Islands, a complex of islets northwest of Corfu, all of which will be backed by 110 million euros of EIB funds. As part of the deal, network projects in the Peloponnese and Evia will receive 70 billion euros in loans, interconnection projects for the Cyclades a further 65 million euros, and the LNG terminal in Revythoussa, an islet in the Saronic Gulf, close to Athens, will receive financing of 40 million euros to increase the facility’s storage capacity.
EIB president Werner Hoyer, the country’s Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, Economy, Development & Tourism Minister Giorgos Stathakis, Environment & Energy Minister Panos Skourletis, PPC’s chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis, and the head officials of IPTO, Yiannis Blanas, and DESFA, Konstantinos Xifaras, all attended the signing ceremony in Athens.
Skourletis, Greece’s energy minister, stressed the state can make crucial investments in the energy sector, while also noting talks with the TAP (Trans Adriatic Pipeline) consortium on local issues for the development of gas infrastructure through northern Greece were at an advanced stage. Minor TAP-related issues will soon be overcome, the minister said. The TAP project will carry Azeri natural gas to Europe, through Greece, Albania and Italy.
The energy minister also noted the DESFA plan to increase storage capacity at the Revythoussa LNG terminal is a significant step as this type of energy source promises to play a greater role in Greece. Skourletis reminded Greece is planning to develop a second LNG station in Alexandroupoli, northeast Greece.
Hoyer noted the EIB will continue to support Greece and expand its banking activities in the country, while, responding to a question on Greece’s risk of a eurozone exit, reiterated European unification represents an irreversible course.