A memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the development of a natural gas pipeline to link Greece and Italy and serve as a route for supply of Russian gas to Europe through the Southern Corridor was signed yesterday evening by the chief executives of Gazprom, Edison, and DEPA, Greece’s Public Gas Corporation – Alexey Miller, Marc Benayoun, and Theodoros Kitsakos, respectively.
The signing cermenomy took place in Rome following a meeting between Miller and Federica Guidi, Italy’s economic development minister.
The Greek Foreign Ministry’s Secretary General for International Economic Relations, Giorgos Tsipras, a cousin of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, attended the signing ceremony.
The memorandum of understanding, indicating an intended common line of action, reflects the interest of all three sides to develop infrastructure that may carry Russian natural gas through the Black Sea, via transit countries, to Greece and then Italy.
The interested parties plan to utilize, to the greatest degree possible, work already completed by DEPA and Edison for the sidelined ITGI Poseidon project.
DEPA and Edison had originally established Poseidon as a joint venture in the previous decade to develop the ITGI pipeline, planned to carry Azeri natural gas from Turkey to Greece and then Italy, via a submarine crossing through the Adriatic Sea. However, the the plan was abandoned after Azerbaijan opted to develop the TAP (Trans-Adriatic Pipeline) project instead for this purpose.
“The revival of the ITGI Poseidon project reinforces Europe’s energy security with an additional supply route and upgrades Greece’s important role as a significant natural gas gateway, via diversified sources and routes,” remarked Kitsakos.