The government faces a major struggle to secure EU funding for prospective natural gas projects as a result of the European Commission’s green energy policy, seeking to restrict, even end, support for investments concerning fossil fuels.
The energy and environment ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou, speaking last Friday at a National Conference on Growth, warned that the EU Partnership Agreement for 2021 to 2027 excludes, to a great extent, natural gas infrastructure from European Structural and Investment Funds.
Greece has planned a series of major gas infrastructure projects, including the Alexandroupoli FSRU, or floating LNG terminal in the northeast, as well as an underground gas storage facility at a depleted gas field in offshore South Kavala.
As for the transboundary East Med gas pipeline, energy minister Costis Hatzidakis, in a newspaper article published yesterday, noted that the project’s EU funding prospects would be improved if the pipeline acquired a greener profile by carrying hydrogen mixed with natural gas from Egypt and Israel to Europe.
A recent European Investment Bank decision ending financing for all fossil fuel-related projects, including natural gas projects, as of 2021, was eventually revised to offer limited financing access to projects included on the European Commission’s latest PCI list.