Gas supply security surcharge sum may be used for measures

A plan for precautionary measures aiming to prevent a repeat of the strain felt by the Greek energy system last winter appears to be approaching finalization.

Just days ago, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, discussed its plan at a meeting involving the participation of the country’s electricity producers, according to energypress sources.

Two basic safety measures have been adopted. Electricity producers equipped with systems able to run on natural gas and diesel will need to be ready to convert whenever requested to do so. This measure concerns facilities operated by the main power utility PPC, Elpedison and a small Heron unit.

The second measure entails the hiring of an LNG tanker to be moored at the country’s terminal on Revythoussa, an islet just off Athens, which is planned to provide supply support to the country’s energy system during the crucial two-month period from mid-December to mid-February.

The LNG tanker will serve as an additional storage facility. A capacity increase project at Revythoussa is not yet ready.

Furthermore, DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, has reached agreements with Algeria for greater than usual LNG supply orders. The purchase price for these additional LNG amounts has remained unchanged, according to sources.

RAE’s two measures, however, do entail an additional cost. The LNG tanker at Revythoussa will cost between 5 and 6 million euros, according to figures provided by DEPA, which proposed this solution.

Test runs and maintenance work concerning the double-fuel solution offering flexibility at the electricity production units will require an estimated 3 to 4 million euros.

The total cost of the measures is approximately equivalent to a DESFA (natural gas grid operator) cash amount accumulated through a supply security surcharge imposed on natural gas bills. This amount could be used to cover the cost of the measures.

RAE, determined to avoid being criticized for remaining passive, has been exploring precautionary measures since last March, following last winter’s energy supply crisis.

The European Commmissin has also worked intensively to pin-point the causes of last winter’s energy crisis in Europe and provide solutions this season.

Concerns as to what could be in store this winter have intensified as it appears France, a key factor behind last winter’s energy crisis, could face similar problems this season. Maintenance work delays at French nuclear power stations have been reported, while certain nuclear facilities may not be available.