RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, will propose that consumer surcharges cover 50 percent of the total development cost of a prospective underground natural gas storage facility (UGS) at the almost depleted natural gas field of “South Kavala” in the Aegean Sea’s north, sources have informed.
The authority is expected to include the UGS project on the agenda of its board meeting tomorrow and may forward, for consultation, its pricing policy and project funding proposal on Friday.
According to the same sources, the RAE plan includes a 35 percent cost-coverage proposal for the UGS project through EU funds or other support mechanisms – the Kavala project is on the EU’s PCI list, enabling EU funding – and 15 percent coverage by the investor.
The energy ministry appears to agree with RAE’s proposal for consumers to cover 50 percent of the UGS project’s cost through surcharges.
The need for strategic gas reserves has been further highlighted by the current energy crisis.
A pending regulatory framework from RAE is expected to soon be finalized, which would enable privatization fund TAIPED to move ahead with its next steps in the UGS’s tender. The procedure has remained stagnant for months.
The tender’s two final-round qualifiers, GEK TERNA – DESFA (Greek gas grid operator) and Energean, still need to submit binding offers. Should no other obstacles arise, the two qualifiers are likely to have submitted their binding offers within the next three months.