The final round of privatization fund TAIPED’s tender for a prospective underground natural gas storage facility (UGS) at the almost depleted natural gas field of “South Kavala” in the Aegean Sea’s north appears set for a latter date as authorities believe the project’s cost-benefit analysis needs to be updated as a result of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
TAIPED was aiming to stage the tender’s second round late in May, but officials at the energy ministry and RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, believe the UGS project’s cost-benefit analysis now needs to be updated.
More specifically, at current gas price levels, it would cost 500 million euros to fill the UGS with gas, once its conversion from a depleted gas field has been completed. The conversion’s cost is also estimated at 500 million euros, meaning a total sum of one billion euros would currently be required to develop and fill the facility.
The project’s existing cost-benefit analysis, based on data prior to the war, is now out for consultation. It has already received two extensions.
It remains unknown if a recent European Commission decision requiring EU member states to maintain gas reserves representing 15 percent of annual consumption will be restricted to the war’s duration or become a permanent obligation.
Also, the project’s reexamination will most probably also need to take into account related domestic developments such as a plan for a gas network capacity increase.