LNG order to arrive sooner, elevated energy alert sustained

The arrival date of an additional LNG shipment order placed by DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, expected soon at the country’s terminal on Revythoussa, an islet just off Athens, has been brought forward by three days to January 17 from January 20 to help ease the pressure on the energy system.

In addition, DEPA has reached an agreement with Botas, Turkey’s state-run crude oil and gas company, for an increase in natural gas supply from the Kipous pipeline in Evros, northeastern Greece, to further reinforce Greece’s gas supply.

As determined by a series of crisis management team meetings headed by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, the energy system’s sustained crisis no longer concerns gas supply but electricity production as a result of the extremely high electricity demand levels, combined with elevated electricity exports – spurred by a manipulated System Marginal Price (SMP) – as well as the inappropriate timing of a main power utility PPC decision to temporarily withdraw two lignite-fired power stations from the grid for maintenance desulphurization work.

The country’s energy system remains at Level 2 Alert after being elevated to this level nearly a week ago as a result of freezing weather condition around the country.

De-escalation of the crisis is not yet possible. A demanding week around Europe is expected.

Bulgarian officials have declared that Greece, a recipient of considerable electricity amounts from the neighboring country, has energy adequacy issues. Crucial Bulgarian electricity exports during the crisis spared Greece from needing to reduce the grid’s overall supply to consumers.

RAE has called for the Level 2 Alert to remain unchanged until it can be assured that the additional gas supply to Greece, based on gas and electricity demand forecasts, will suffice.