Greek-Italian pipeline missing from DESFA 10-year plan

The latest ten-year development plan unveiled by DESFA, the Natural Gas Transmission System Operator, comes as a subdued package in terms of investments, and does not offer potential for further penetration of natural gas into the country’s energy mix.

The firm, which controls and manages a monopoly of infrastructure for natural gas transportation, has forwarded its ten-year plan, covering 2014-2023, for public consultation.

The DESFA strategy’s lack of ambition is the result of the economic crisis, as well as the relentless taxation policy imposed on the sector over the past three years that has led to considerable cost increases for natural gas.

One of the most striking aspects of the ten-year plan is the absence of the overland segment of the Greek-Italian pipeline, ITGI, from Komotini, northeastern Greece, to Thesprotia, northwestern Greece. The Trans Adriatic Pipeline, or TAP, has now superseded it as the pipeline of choice to serve the corridor in Europe’s southeast.

DESFA’s development and investment plan for 2014-2023 is budgeted at 422 million euro by the firm. However, it should be noted that the figure includes projects now on the verge of completion, such as a pipeline linking Corinth, in Peloponnese’s northeast, and Megalopoli, to the south, worth 110 million euro. Also included in the ten-year plan’s budgeted figure are projects whose development is not yet certain. Whether they will proceed or not will be determined by factors beyond DESFA’s control, such as future demand for natural gas, or the survival of producer units. The ten-year plan’s 422-million-euro figure also includes projects now being developed, such as the 156-million-euro revamp and expansion of a terminal for liquefied gas in Revythoussa, an islet in the Saronic Gulf, close to Athens.

Considering these aforementioned aspects, the actual figure for new DESFA investments, over the next ten years, boils down to about 54 million euro and concerns mostly small projects, such as additions or revamps at existing infrastructure.