Gas firms requested to store away 7.5 TWh total this year

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has requested natural gas suppliers to start storing away gas quantities ahead of next winter, based on EU energy-security provisions, energypress sources have informed.

The authority aims to encourage companies to make the most of current favorable terms in international gas markets. Gas price levels are currently far lower than they have been during the energy crisis, so quantities required for storage can be secured at competitive prices.

RAE is believed to have informed gas companies that a total of 7.5 TWh will need to be stored away in 2023. The country’s gas importers, DEPA Commercial, Mytilineos, Elpedison, Heron, power utility PPC and Prometheus Gas will need to take on the responsibility of securing this 7.5 TWh quantity.

An EU regulation set last year requires member states without – or without sufficient – domestic gas storage facilities to store away gas quantities representing 15 percent of the previous five-year average of annual gas usage by November 1 at existing storage facilities maintained by fellow member states.

Bulgaria’s underground Chiren gas storage facility appears to be short of space to accommodate Greek gas orders, meaning Greek importers will need to turn to costlier Italian and French alternatives, along with the FSU on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens.

Annual gas usage in Greece averaged 61.1 TWh between 2018 and 2022, meaning that a 15 percent proportion works out to 9.2 TWh. RAE deducted 1.7 TWh for alternate purposes, resulting in its 7.5-TWh figure set for this year.

Contrary to last year, companies are not expected to be compensated for any leftover gas quantities. Also, gas companies will need to assume all gas transportation and storage costs, to ultimately be passed on to consumers.

Gas companies have already expressed complaints, calling the storage requirement and its related obligations an unfeasible, high-cost plan. They are seeking revisions.