EPA Attiki prepares for low-cost CNG supply in liberalized gas market

EPA Attiki intends to supply CNG to major-scale industrial enterprises and businesses, a plan that will be made possible by the installation of compressors to the existing low and medium-pressure network, EPA general manager Yiannis Mitropoulos disclosed yesterday while addressing the many opportunities offered by the gas market’s developing liberalization.

EPA Thessaloniki and EPA Thessaly are also considering installing compressor stations to enable CNG supply to the market.

The EPA Attiki general manager pointed out that his company’s plans are focused on CNG supply, not LNG. Compared to LNG, requiring a costly liquefaction procedure, CNG is a lower-cost option once compressors have been installed.

The developing liberalization of the natural gas market will be completed as of January 1, 2018, when households will be free to choose supplier. Industrial clients were able to do so as of the beginning of 2016, while major-scale business customers were offered this right at the beginning of this year.

“Opportunities exist and will proliferate as the market continues to become increasingly liberalized and the arrival of 2020, when the TAP pipeline will be launched, draws nearer,” Mitropoulos noted. “We are already assessing alternative supply sources,” he continued.

Originally founded by parent company DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, as a supply subsidiary covering the wider Athens area, EPA Attiki has now gained independence amid the gas market reforms. EPA Attiki’s initial objective, in its new life, is to enter the retail electricity market and follow up this entry by improving its services in anticipation of intensifying competition.

Mitropoulos said he expects household natural gas price levels to drop over the next few months. Price levels are currently at 5.7 cents per MWh, seven percent higher than in January, as a result of the energy crisis early this year. Despite the recent rise, household natural gas price levels remain 38 percent lower than heating fuel.

EPA Attiki has set itself an annual turnover target of 150 million euros for 2017.