Greece set to sign regional gas connectivity memorandum

Negotiations leading to the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between nine EU member states, including Greece, for a CESEC (Central East South European Gas Connectivity) agreement, have reached an advanced stage. The memorandum is expected to be signed on Friday in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

According to energypress sources, the memorandum includes a detailed action plan and a number of infrastructure projects, the aim being to secure financing for their development through the European Fund for Strategic Investments, with guarantees from the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Four projects of Greek interests have been included in the initiative: the Greek-Bulgarian natural gas pipeline (IGB); reverse flow development of an exisiting gas connection in Sidirokastro, at the country’s northern tip; an upgrade of the LNG terminal in Revythoussa, an islet in the Saronic Gulf, close to Athens; and the TAP (Trans-Adriatic Pipeline) project. Plans for two floating LNG terminals – one in Kavala, northern Greece, and the other in Alexandroupoli, northeast Greece, involving the Copelouzos Group’s Gastrade – were not included in the CESEC initiative, as only one of the two will be developed.

Besides Greece, the CESEC initiative includes Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Italy, Hungary, and Slovakia. The effort was launched last February in Sofia by Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission’s Vice President for Energy Union, who noted its objective is to enable countering an energy crisis in the event that Russia stops natural gas supply to the EU via Ukraine from 2019 and onwards, while also helping cover natural gas needs of the participating EU member states.