LNG tanker at Revythoussa a likely precautionary measure for winter

DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, appears likely to dock an LNG tanker at the LNG terminal on Revythoussa, an islet just off Athens, during the upcoming winter’s crucial two-month period between mid-December and mid-February in order to ensure sufficient gas supply and avoid the energy alerts experienced in Greece last winter.

This plan, involving the participation of RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is expected to cost approximately 6 million euros and will be covered through a special suppy security surcharge included on consumer gas bills. Local authorities are expected to reach a decision within the next few days.

Other safety measures have already been adopted as it has been determined that regular natural gas supply levels would be insufficient should extreme circumstances arise.

Local authorities appear determined to bring in an LNG tanker to the Revythoussa terminal despite the fact that this precautionary measure may end up proving unnecessary.

“There is a chance of the LNG tanker not being needed. Nobody knows, but it can be said with certainty that countering an energy crisis using last winter’s means – such as switching from gas to petrol at power stations – would cost considerably more,” one official noted.

Without a doubt, RAE does not want to end up being accused of remaining passive should last winter’s extreme events be repeated.

The European Commission has also shown a great interest to fully identify and resolve the causes of last year’s European energy crisis. It wants precautionary measures to be taken.

Concerns as to what could be in store this winter have been on the rise as it appears France, a key factor behind last winter’s energy crisis, could face similar problems this season. Maintenance work delays at French nuclear power stations have been reported, while certain nuclear facilities may not be available.

In Greece, it remains unclear whether an extension to the demand response mechanism (interruptability), a key tool for controlling energy consumption levels, will have been approved in time for the winter. This mechanism enables major industrial enterprises to be compensated when the TSO (ADMIE/IPTO) requests that they shift their energy usage by lowering or stopping consumption during high-demand peak hours so as to balance the electricity system’s needs.

Furthermore, more burdensome surcharges in the making for local electricity producers, as well as the uncertainty as to whether new CATs will have been introduced on time, add to the overall uncertainty in Greece for the winter.