The development prospects of an IGI Poseidon gas pipeline though Greece’s north and across the Adriatic Sea to Italy as a supply route for Russian gas to Europe, a plan opposed by the US, is expected to be on the agenda of a meeting between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Russian President Vladimir Putin scheduled for December 7 on Moscow.
The majority of license-related procedures needed by Greek gas utility DEPA and Italy’s Edison for the IGI Poseidon gas pipeline have been completed, the two European firms informed Russia’s Gazprom at a recent three-way meeting in Moscow.
The IGI Poseidon gas pipeline is envisaged to serve as an extension of Turkish Stream.
DEPA and Edison officials are confident a gas pipeline route through Greece, rather than Bulgaria, as suggested by Moscow on occasions, carries definite advantages.
The Greek-Italian pipeline is technically mature as 80 percent of studies have been completed, while license applications have been submitted to energy sector regulatory authorities and Brussels, DEPA and Edison officials informed during their Gazprom meeting.
However, as was made apparent at this three-way meeting, all sides remain concerned as to whether the European Commission will raise objections against the pipeline plan. Washington is pressuring EU member states to find alternative natural gas supply sources not involving Russia.
In Greece, US ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt is taking every opportunity to express America’s opposition to any further penetration by Gazprom of Greece’s energy sector.
Greek energy minister Giorgos Stathakis recently appeared hesitant on the prospect of a new pipeline to transmit Gazprom gas.
Much will depend on the outcome of an upcoming official US visit by Greece’s Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Giorgos Katrougalos between December 11 and 14. He will be joined by the energy ministry’s secretary general Mihalis Veriopoulos. DEPA and Edison will be waiting for political decisions concerning their Greek-Italian pipeline investment plan.