Distributor DEDA wants swifter delivery of operator projects

Gas distributor DEDA, covering all areas around Greece except for wider Athens, Thessaloniki and Thessaly, wants gas grid operator DESFA to complete key grid projects six months sooner so that the distributor may proceed with tenders for distribution network expansion projects.

DESFA needs to construct metering/regulating stations in Livadia, central Greece, as well as the Kastoria and Kozani regions in northern Greece.

DEDA called for a swifter delivery of these stations in public consultation staged for DESFA’s ten-year development plan covering 2021 to 2030.

DESFA plans to complete work on the Livadia metering/regulating station in March, 2022. However, DEDA has requested the station’s completion six months earlier, explaining it will not be able to distribute to consumers in the area until the station’s construction has been completed.

DEDA also called for the Kastoria and Kozani stations to be complete six months earlier, citing the same reasons.

In addition, DEDA requested the development of a natural gas compressor station close to the areas of Karpenisi, central Greece, and Amfissa, slightly southeast, to facilitate CNG supply to these regions.

DEDA gas network expansion plan for northern Greece areas approved

A revised five-year plan by gas distributor DEDA, now also incorporating northern Greece’s provinces of Ptolemaida, Kozani and Amynteo into the company’s network expansion plan, has been approved by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

The three areas were included in DEDA’s original plan but later withdrawn as a result of company decisions on telethermal planning.

The new networks, all medium-pressure systems, will be expanded at towns within the three provinces and their industrial zones but not in the capital cities of Ptolemaida, Kozani and Amynteo, where telethermal systems will operate.

DEDA, now under the wings of DEPA Infrastructure, a new entity formed by gas utility DEPA ahead of its privatization, covers areas not served by EDA Attiki (wider Athens) and EDA Thess (Thessaloniki and Thessaly).

Meanwhile, gas grid operator DESFA’s ten-year development plan covering 2021 to 2030 envisages the construction of a metering and regulating (M&R) station in the Eordaia municipality’s Perdikkas area to secure its access to natural gas and telethermal systems.

Solid bidder turnout for DEDA east Macedonia, Thrace gas network tenders

Five construction companies and one consortium have taken part in the first two tenders staged by gas distributor DEDA for the development of gas distribution networks in Xanthi/Drama and Alexandroupoli/Komotini, respectively, in Greece’s north and northeast.

Key Greek construction firms such as Aktor, Avax and Intracom were among the bidders, sources informed. Newcomers and older companies also took part in the tenders, totaling 33.4 million euros, including Edil Hellas, Ergo ATE and Vermion ATEE-Sourla Bros ATEBE.

The level of participation on the two tenders was described as satisfactory by DEDA’s managing director Marios Tsakas and a vote of confidence for the gas company’s ambitious plans to broaden the coverage of networks in provincial Greece.

DEDA covers all parts of Greece not represented by fellow DEPA Infrastructure subsidiaries EDA Attiki, covering the wider Athens area, and EDA THES, covering Thessaloniki and Thessaly.

Project contracts with winning bidders could be signed by the end of the year so that construction work of the new networks can begin early in 2021 in all four provincial cities, sources said.

Avax, Aktor, Ergo ATE, Edil Hellas, Vermion ATEE-Sourla Bros ATEBE and Intracom took part in the DEDA tender for the development of gas networks in the Xanthi and Drama areas, budgeted at 17.1 million euros.

Avax, Aktor, Ergo ATE, Edil Hellas and Intracom also took part in the Alexandroupoli/Komotini tender, budgeted at 16.3 million euros.

The two regional projects are being funded by own funds, loans and business development funds for the east Macedonia and Thrace regions.

Gas distribution networks totaling at least 200 kilometers for 4,066 connections concerning all gas consumer categories by 2024 are planned for the Xanthi and Drama areas.

As for the Alexandroupoli and Komotini areas, the DEDA plan entails construction of gas distribution networks totaling 170 kilometers for at least 5,279 connections by 2024.

DEDA plans to launch new tenders next month for construction of gas networks in Orestiada and Kavala, northern Greece, sources said.

Overall, the new gas distribution networks planned by DEDA in the six provincial cities are budgeted at 56.6 million euros, plus 24% VAT, and will provide a total of 496,000 kilometers of mid and low-pressure gas supply lines for at least 15,000 consumer connections of all categories.

DEDA is also planning tenders next month for gas network projects in central Greece and the central Macedonia region.

RAE set to permit gas link fee discounts after initial hesitation

Following initial hesitation, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, appears set to permit distribution network connection fee discounts offered by natural gas distributors to attract new customer. But this approval will only apply to areas where gas market penetration levels remain low.

RAE has hesitated to approve such discounts offered by gas utility DEPA’s subsidiaries EDA Attiki, EDA Thess and DEDA – the three gas distributors covering the wider Athens area, Thessaloniki-Thessaly and rest of Greece, respectively – fearing the special offers could be regarded as a form of state aid by the European Commission’s competition officials.

However, DEPA Infrastructure, a new DEPA entity now controlling these three gas distribution subsidiaries, recently warned that RAE’s delays are undermining its privatization procedure. This warning was highlighted in a letter to the authority that was also shared with privatization fund TAIPED and the energy ministry.

RAE’s delay in endorsing EDA tariffs for 2019 to 2022 has consequently also placed the gas company’s development plan in turmoil, DEPA Infrastructure pointed out in the letter.

RAE has overcome its concerns and is now preparing to endorse the tariffs. The authority will also permit connection fee discounts in areas where natural gas market penetration levels do not exceed 25 percent.

In areas where natural gas market penetration levels are exceeded but not greater than 75 percent, RAE will permit connection fee discounts of up to 90 percent in 2022, 80 percent in 2023, 70 percent in 2024 and 60 percent in 2025.

The authority will not endorse any connection fee discounts for municipalities where natural gas market penetration levels exceed 75 percent.

 

RAE issues undermining DEPA Infrastructure privatization

Delays, instability and flawed intervention by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, on important operating issues concerning gas utility DEPA’s subsidiaries EDA Attiki, EDA Thess and DEDA – the three distributors covering the wider Athens area, Thessaloniki-Thessaly and rest of Greece, respectively – are undermining the privatization procedure for DEPA Infrastructure, a new DEPA entity placed for sale, DEPA Infrastructure has warned in a letter to the authority.

In the letter, also forwarded to privatization fund TAIPED and the energy ministry, DEPA Infrastructure complains of a RAE delay in endorsing EDA tariffs for 2019 to 2022, which has consequently placed the gas company’s development plan in turmoil.

Besides not having reached a decision on gas distribution pricing policy, the authority has changed the WACC level three times since last year, including recently, which has negatively impacted the yields of DEPA subsidiary investments, sources noted.

Also, RAE regards initiatives taken by the three gas distributors to attract more consumers to the natural gas market as a form of state aid, DEPA Infrastructure protests in the letter, referring to distribution network connection fee discounts offered by the distributors, as well as subsidy support for natural gas system installations.

Any moves to curb these initiatives promoting gas usage would derail the natural gas sector’s energy-mix penetration target for 2030, as specified in the National Energy and Climate Plan, DEPA Infrastructure contends.

These unfavorable conditions threaten to delay the DEPA Infrastructure privatization, company sources stressed.

The sale procedure’s video data room is still lacking vital information for prospective bidders, who could begin seeing the DEPA Infrastructure privatization as a high-risk investment, the sources noted, adding that WACC level reductions will ultimately reduce the market value of DEPA Infrastructure and the subsidiaries.

Clearer framework needed for new gas distribution networks

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has identified the need for clear-cut, objective terms, based on technocratic criteria, for an improved strategy to help take natural gas to regions around the country without distribution network access at present.

Approval procedures for development plans submitted by gas distribution companies are currently in progress, and, in addition, the distribution sector is being restructured.

The energy ministry has made clear it wants a consistent and modern framework to facilitate the development of new distribution networks in as many parts of Greece as possible, a government objective.

Gas sector conditions also need to be made as clear as possible ahead of the privatization of DEPA Infrastructure, owning gas distributor EDA Attiki, servicing the wider Athens area; 51 percent of EDA Thess, covering the Thessaloniki area; and DEDA, distributing to all other regions not serviced by the two aforementioned firms.

RAE is now preparing a new framework concerning the appraisal and approval of development plans by gas distribution companies, as well as a formula for their earnings.

 

 

 

DEDA tenders for gas networks in east Macedonia, Thrace

Gas distributor DEDA, representing areas in Greece beyond Athens, Thessaloniki and Thessaly, is expected to launch tenders over the next few days for pipeline infrastructure construction in northeastern Greece’s east Macedonia and Thrace region, totaling 484.6 kilometers, by 2022.

This upcoming round of tenders, for network projects budgeted at over 51 million euros in east Macedonia and Thrace, will focus on the provincial cities Alexandroupoli, Komotini, Drama, Xanthi, Orestiada and Kavala.

DEDA’s chief executive Marios Tsokas is likely to visit Greece’s east Macedonia and Thrace region during the week.

Some 12,500 households, 2,300 businesses and 34 industrial consumers are expected to be connected to the east Macedonia and Thrace region’s resulting gas distribution network.

Additional tenders are planned in September for networks in the central Macedonia and central Greece regions, as part of DEDA’s wider plan for a network totaling 1,830 kilometers in 34 provincial cities by 2024, included in the gas distributor’s five-year plan.

DEDA plans to open retail outlets in areas where networks will be developed.

DEDA set to launch tenders for gas networks in north, central Greece

Gas distributor DEDA, covering all areas around Greece other than wider Athens, Thessaloniki and Thessaly, is set to launch three separate tenders for the construction of natural gas distribution networks servicing east Macedonia and Thrace in the northeast, central Macedonia, in the north, as well as central Greece.

DEDA is discussing final details with regional authorities before its launches the tenders, expected within the next few days.

A consultation procedure staged in the lead up generated considerable feedback from construction and technical companies, engineers, as well as a range of technical associations.

Consultation was followed by meetings with interested parties for further exchange of ideas and to determine optimal ways to move forward with project details.

RAE’s WACC reduction for operators ultimately neutralized

A recent decision by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, reducing the WACC rate amid a fixed four-year period for energy market operators, as a result of the government’s corporate tax reduction from 29 to 24 percent, is ultimately expected to be neutralized as the authority has asked operators to submit updated data based on latest market conditions, including borrowing costs, all factors applied by the authority to its WACC formula.

Gas grid operator DESFA, power grid operator IPTO, as well as the country’s gas distributors EDA Attiki, EDA Thess and DEDA, initially reacted against RAE’s intention to reduce the WACC rate, determining earnings, within the preset four-year period. It is supposed to be adjusted every four years.

However, RAE’s latest call for updated data from operators and distributors, effectively promising to offset any WACC rate adjustment, has been well received.

 

DEDA wants review of decision dropping 8 cities from 5-year development plan

Gas distributor DEDA wants RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, to review its recent decision removing the entire Peloponnese and provincial cities Veria and Giannitsa from the distributor’s five-year development plan covering 2020 to 2024. DEDA has lodged a review request to RAE, sources informed.

In addition, the gas distributor has also delivered an upgraded 2020-2024 development program to the authority that envisions swifter development of natural gas distribution networks in Veria and Giannitsa.

Completion of these two network projects faced an 18-month delay, according to the previous schedule, prompting the authority to drop both from the DEDA five-year plan.

As for DEDA’s network development plan in the Peloponnese, covering six provincial cities, Tripoli, Corinthos, Argos, Nafplio, Sparti and Kalamata, the distributor intends to resubmit a revised and expanded five-year plan in September.

Regional Peloponnese authorities expect NSRF support to become available by September.

Gas grid operator DESFA is also planning to develop related projects needed for the Peloponnese grid.

Also, DESFA’s new business plan includes LNG truck-loading supply plans for Sparti and Kalamata, from the Revythoussa islet terminal off Athens.

Meanwhile, tenders offering construction contracts for gas networks covering northern Greece’s east Macedonia, Thrace and central Macedonia regions, as well as central Greece, are expected be launched in early July.

DEDA to challenge RAE removal of 8 cities from 5-year development plan

Gas distributor DEDA is examining legal options in order to challenge a decision by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, to remove the entire Peloponnese and the provincial cities of Veria and Giannitsa from the distributor’s five-year development plan covering 2020 to 2024.

The authority excluded these areas as estimated completion dates for projects exceeded deadlines by more than 18 months.

At the very least, DEDA is expected to ask RAE to reconsider its decisions and request further details concerning the exclusion of a total of eight cities from its five-year development plan.

Besides Veria and Giannitsa, both in the north, RAE removed six Peloponnesian towns, Tripoli, Corinth, Argos, Nafplio, Kalamata and Sparti, from DEDA’s development plan.

DEDA, now under the wings of DEPA Infrastructure, a new entity formed by gas utility DEPA ahead of its privatization, covers areas not served by EDA Attiki (wider Athens) and EDA Thess (Thessaloniki and Thessaly).

It remains unclear whether DEDA will publish the shortened five-year plan in the government gazette. Failure to do so would delay procedures for the remainder of projects on the list, including the setting of customer tariffs. The company’s administration wants to avoid such delays.

 

Gas distributor DEDA’s 5-year development plan minus 8 cities

Gas distribution network projects in eight provincial cities have been removed from gas distributor DEDA’s five-year development plan approved by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, as their estimated completion dates exceeded deadlines by more than 18 months.

Projects in a total of six Peloponnesian cities as well as northern Greece’s Veria and Giannitsa had been included in the previous version of the DEDA development plan, covering 2020 to 2024.

DEDA, now under the wings of DEPA Infrastructure, a new entity formed by gas utility DEPA ahead of its privatization, distributes to Greece’s areas not served by EDA Attiki (wider Athens) and EDA Thess (Thessaloniki and Thessaly).

According to DEDA’s initial five-year plan, Tripoli, Corinth, Argos and Nafplio, all in the Peloponnese, were planned to gain network infrastructure enabling gas supply via a high-pressure pipeline operated by gas grid operator DESFA.

The plan also entailed the development of infrastructure for LNG supply from DESFA’s Revythoussa terminal, close to Athens, to the Peloponnesian cities Kalamata and Sparti.

Projects for CNG supply to Veria and Giannitsa in the country’s north were also excluded by RAE from the five-year DEDA plan it approved.

 

Energy firms react against RAE plan for WACC reduction

The prospect of upcoming WACC level reductions reportedly planned by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, for gas grid operator DESFA, power grid operator IPTO, as well as the country’s gas distributors EDA Attiki, EDA Thess, DEDA and their parent company DEPA, the gas utility, has unsettled the administrations of all these companies.

Though RAE has not yet reached a decision on the matter, the aforementioned energy companies understand the authority is working to soon lower their WACC levels as a follow-up adjustment to the government’s business tax rate reduction, from 29 to 24 percent.

RAE has endorsed the current WACC levels for a four-year period. A revision at this point would cancel out this endorsement.

The energy companies will push for a delay of any WACC rate revisions until the four-year period has expired, it is believed.

DESFA officials have already pointed out a need for stability and predictability, also stressing the company has invested heavily in the operator during a difficult period for the country.

DEPA’s gas distribution companies fear a WACC revision may negatively impact an ongoing privatization procedure for DEPA Infrastructure, a new DEPA entity established for the privatization.

DEPA and its associated firms have warned DEPA Infrastructure would become a less attractive prospect for nine candidates who have expressed first-round interest, while a revision before the WACC level’s four-year period has been completed could be interpreted as a signal of uncertainty by investors.

DEPA Infrastructure yield, 8.2% + 1.5%, a drawcard for bidders

Though not yet officially announced, a new annual regulated yield for distribution network operators, now set, represents one of the strongest drawcards for the sale of DEPA Infrastructure, a new entity established by gas utility DEPA for privatization.

Prospective bidders engaged in preliminary contact with authorities linked to the DEPA Infrastructure sale ahead of a February 14 deadline for non-binding expression of interest have been told the WACC figure has been set at 8.2 percent plus a 1.5 percent premium if certain investment objectives are achieved.

These objectives include swift network development in areas covered by gas distributor EDA, achievement of pipeline addition goals, specified in kilometers, as well as the development of projects not included in DEPA Infrastructure’s initial development plan.

Prospective participants, including funds, will enter this privatization procedure knowing their investment’s potential yield can reach 9.7 percent, far higher than WACC performances enjoyed by network operators in central Europe.

This higher yield offering has generated all-round optimism for a solid turnout by participants Friday week.

Potential bidders, so far, are believed to include Greek gas grid operator DESFA, France’s Engie, Italy’s Italgas and Germany’s Eon.

Besides European operators, the privatization is also expected to attract a number of funds, seen partnering with operators for the sale’s second round of binding bids.

DEPA Infrastructure has taken under its wings DEPA’s interests in the distribution networks of wider Athens (EDA Attiki), Thessaloniki and Thessalia (EDA Thess) and the rest of Greece (DEDA).

 

RAE decisions on network fees, industrial sector hike in June

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is expected to decide on the levels of regulated charges for gas distribution networks in the wider Athens area, Thessaloniki and the rest of Greece within June, sources have informed.

It is believed that these charges will essentially remain unchanged. A minor reduction could be made.

A decision on a 4-euro per MWh distribution charge set for the industrial sector in the summer of 2015 will be a key a factor in setting the new regulated charges. Action taken by EVIKEN, the Association of Industrial Energy Consumers, against this charge at a European Commission level was successful.

This charge increase was implemented across the board for all industrial consumers, regardless of profile.

RAE is expected to reach a decision this summer on a five-year development plan covering 2019 to 2023 for gas distribution companies. It is waiting for related data from the DEDA and EDA Attikis distributors.

DEDA set for new hirings to support network expansion in 18 cities

Gas distributor DEDA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DEPA, the public gas corporation, is preparing to hire additional technical personnel to support a natural gas network expansion plan in 18 Greek provincial cities, Stefania Mosse, the distributor’s CEO, told yesterday’s Power & Gas Supply Forum in Athens.

Though Mosse did not elaborate on how many new hirings would be made, nor when, she stressed the expansion plan requires a reinforcement of staff as the existing DEDA team, numbering 30 persons, does not suffice.

The network’s expansion is planned to cover three prefectures: east Macedonia-Thrace, central Macedonia, as well as a mainland area further south, in central Greece, comprised of Fthiotida, Boetia, Evritania, and the island Evia, slightly northeast of Athens.

Tenders for procurement and sub-contracts are a top priority for the board at DEDA, the aim being to begin work in the summer, according to an announcement released by the distributor in January.

DEDA’s overall network expansion plan entails network development measuring up to 1,130 kilometers and 30,800 new consumer connections by 2023. The project is budgeted at 172 million euros.

 

Ministry’s DEPA hiring plan raises privatization concerns

An energy ministry plan to orchestrate hirings of 200 subcontracted external associates working for gas utility DEPA through a procedure that would skip bailout-related employment restrictions imposed on public sector enterprises has swiftly raised objections on a number of fronts and troubled authorities over the move’s impact on the utility’s prospective privatization.

Company shareholders fear the currently profitable utility’s market value will be diminished as a result of these hirings, seen as unnecessary additions that will bloat the payroll and reduce DEPA’s operating profit levels.

Besides the shareholders, DEPA employees on the payroll have also reacted fearing these hirings could affect their interests.

The ministry, looking to hand out favors as this is an election year, is planning to hire the 200 subcontracted workers through three subsidiaries not subject to the bailout-related employment restrictions imposed on public sector enterprises.

These are gas supplier EPA Attiki and gas distributor EDA Attiki, both covering the wider Athens area, as well as DEDA, responsible for gas network development in regions not covered by the parent company. Head officials at these subsidiaries have also expressed concerns over the repercussions of the energy ministry’s recruitment plan.

The DEPA privatization, not expected to be launched before July, may end up being loaded onto the agenda of the country’s next administration.

DEPA will be split into two new entities, DEPA Infrastructure and DEPA Trade, for the privatization, to begin with a tender offering a majority stake (50% plus one share) in DEPA Trade. A 14 percent stake of DEPA Infrastructure will also be placed for sale at a latter date.

Ministry preparing 200 hirings at privatization-bound DEPA

The energy ministry is maneuvering to clear bailout-related employment restrictions imposed on public sector enterprises and facilitate the recruitment at privatization-destined gas utility DEPA of the majority of 200 workers currently subcontracted as external associates.

The ministry’s leadership appears to have bowed to worker union pressure, ensuring the hirings will go ahead, sources informed. If so, they would bypass ASEP (Supreme Council for Civil Personnel Selection) restrictions.

As a result, 150 workers subcontracted by DEPA would be distributed to three gas utility subsidiaries: the wider Athens area gas supplier EPA Attiki; distributor EDA Attiki, also covering the wider Athens area; and DEDA, responsible for gas network development in regions not covered by the parent company. All three can hire personnel without conforming to ASEP restrictions. A further 23 workers are currently subcontracted with DEDA and between 30 and 35 with CNG refueling stations.

New employees are expected to be offered individual work agreements. The duration of these agreements remains unclear.

An energy ministry DEPA draft bill scheduled to be submitted to parliament on February 28 and designed to split the gas utility into two entities, DEPA Trade and DEPA Infrastructure, ahead of its privatization, is not expected to include extensive details on personnel matters, including the ministry’s recruitment plan.

In addition, pay cuts are also planned for DEPA’s current staff on the payroll.

 

 

Country’s gas distributors striving to meet terms to secure licenses

The country’s three gas distribution companies exclusively covering the Greek market are preparing dossiers including investment plans to be submitted to RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, in efforts to secure operating licenses, yet to be officially granted.

The three natural gas distributors are EDA Attiki, covering the wider Athens area, EDA Thess, serving the Thessaloniki area, and DEDA, covering the rest of Greece.

The three companies, undergoing separate licencing procedures, each need to prove that they are capable of developing investment plans previously submitted.

The authority wants to avoid any overambitious – and ultimately unachievable – network planning by the three distributors to prevent obstructing other investors who could be interested in developing networks.

Distribution companies will risk losing their regional licenses if they do not develop networks as planned.

EDA Thess, sporting a reliable track record, is believed to have made the most progress of the three distributors in its preparation of a five-year plan. EDA Attiki, according to statements made by company officials, is reworking its five-year investment plan, while DEDA, operating in a far wider area, has catching up to do.

Gas network expansion to 18 cities qualifies for EU subsidies

Greece’s natural gas network will be expanded to cover 18 provincial cities in northern and central regions following a European Commission decision reached to secure EU cohesion policy funds for the expansion plan through the Multiannual Financial Framework, running from 2014 to 2020.

The plan’s funding framework inclusion will enable subsidies of 50 percent for the project, whose total budget is estimated at over 172 million euros.

Driven by the now-certain prospect of EU subsidies for the expansion plan, gas distributor DEDA, a subsidiary of gas utility DEPA responsible for the country’s natural gas networks – except the wider Athens area – is believed to be finalizing the details of  related tenders expected to be announced in January.

According to the plan, the country’s gas network will be expanded in the East Macedonia-Thrace, Central Macedonia and central Greece regions.

The provincial cities listed in the gas network expansion plan are: Thebes, Amfissa, Lamia, Karpenisi, Livadia, Halkida, Alexandria, Giannitsa, Veria, Katerini, Kilkis, Serres, Komotini, Alexandroupoli, Drama, Kavala, Xanthi and Orestiada.

 

Two options most probable in DEPA restructuring plan

Consultants working on Greek gas utility DEPA’s split plan, entailing a division of the firm’s commercial interests and infrastructure, have arrived at two most probable proposals, energypress sources have informed.

One of the two options being considered would split the utility’s commercial activity from DEPA, as the corporation currently stands, and incorporate it into greater Athens area gas supplier EPA Attiki, a fully operational enterprise with an existing customer base.

According to the other scenario, the company’s commercial activity would remain a part of DEPA while the utility’s networks and international projects would be split and transferred to prospective firm DEPA Infrastructure along with gas distribution venture DEDA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DEPA, and Athens network operator EDA Attiki.

Financial criteria, taxation issues and personnel concerns will be taken into account before a finalized plan is shaped. It is believed that a limited voluntary retirement scheme is being examined.

Work on a draft bill concerning DEPA’s restructuring plan and the commitments of the resulting firms will commence as soon as the consultants, DEPA’s administration and the energy ministry have agreed on the details. According to the original plan, the draft bill was scheduled for delivery in October.

 

Industrialists, PPC question cost impact of gas network expansion

EVIKEN, the Association of Industrial Energy Consumers, and the main power utility PPC have both raised sustainability-related objections to a gas network expansion plan covering 18 municipalities in northern and central Greece, included by gas distributor DEDA in its five-year development plan.

Participating in public consultation staged by DEDA, EVIKEN pointed out that the gas distributor’s five-year plan makes no mention of the impact on distribution network surcharges.

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has already endorsed distribution network surcharges for central Greece, a region of heightened industrial activity. The area’s gas network is already developed but will be expanded. RAE will need to ensure that existing network charges are not increased to cover the cost of the network’s expansion, the industrial consumers association stressed in its intervention.

PPC also raised sustainability concerns regarding the gas network’s expansion to previously non-serviced areas.

RAE is expected to approve DEDA’s five-year development plan by October 10, when the gas distributor, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DEPA, the public gas corporation, plans to proceed with tenders for the development of the natural gas networks.

The DEDA tenders are planned to cover all development aspects of the projects, including procurement, project management and construction. A total of 11 or 12 tenders are being planned.

 

Gas network tenders for 18 mid, central cities planned by Oct 10

Gas distributor DEDA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DEPA, the public gas corporation, plans to proceed with tenders for the development of natural gas networks in 18 municipalities covering northern and central Greece by October 10, once the terms of all the planned tenders have been endorsed by regional authorities.

The DEDA tenders are planned to cover all development aspects of the projects, including procurement, project management and construction. A total of 11 or 12 tenders are being planned.

Projects envisioned include the construction of a low and medium-pressure gas distribution network in the Eastern Macedonia-Thrace region, budgeted at 64.2 million euros, half of which may be funded by the Public Investments Program (PIP). The low-pressure network’s section is planned to cover roughly 485 km in length and the medium-pressure network about 9 km. The provincial cities Alexandroupoli, Orestiada, Komotini, Xanthi, Drama and Kavala will be served.

The DEDA project also includes a plan for the construction of a low and medium-pressure gas distribution network in the Central Macedonia region, budgeted at 44.1 million euro. PIP funding here could reach 48.5 percent. Six municipalities are planned to be covered, these being Veria, Alexandria, Katerini, Serres, Giannitsa and Kilkis. The low-pressure network is planned to run 327 km and the medium-pressure network 9 km.

The project’s third section, covering central Greece’s cities of Lamia, Halkida, Thebes, Livadia, Amfissa and Karpenisi, has a budget estimate of 47.4 million euros, 45 percent of which may be funded by the Public Investments Program (PIP).

A low and high-pressure network running approximately 210 km already exists and covers parts of the region to serve commercial and industrial consumers. A low-pressure network of approximately 320 km and a medium-pressure 7 km network will need to be constructed.

The completion time for the project’s three sections is estimated at 5 years.

 

DEDA, authorities join forces for network in north, central Greece

Regional authorities representing various parts of northern Greece have established joint committees and are working closely with gas distributor DEDA to secure EU cohesion policy funds through the Multiannual Financial Framework, covering 2014 to 2020, for the development of natural gas networks in the country’s north.

The decision by regional authorities to join forces for this effort is expected to accelerate procedures as all technical and contractual matters concerning the wider network’s development are being handled collectively.

Officials at DEDA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DEPA, the public gas corporation, believe contractors for the natural gas network’s development could be appointed within the first quarter of 2019.

The network’s development is planned to cover the regions of east Macedonia-Thrace, central Macedonia, as well as mainland prefectures further south, in central Greece, namely Fthiotida, Boetia and Evritania, and the island Evia, slightly northeast of Athens.

The gas distribution network planned to cover the east Macedonia-Thrace prefectures of Evros, Rodopi, Xanthi, Kavala and Drama, is budgeted at an estimated 64.2 million euros, 50 percent of which may be financed through the public investment program (PIP).

The gas distribution network planned to cover the central Macedonia prefectures of Imathia, Kilkis, Pella, Pieria, Serres and Halkdiki, is budgeted at an estimated 44.1 million euros, 48.5 percent of which may be covered by the public investment program.

The distribution network to cover the regions further south is budgeted at an estimated 647.4 million euros, 45 percent of which may be financed through the public investment program.

 

DEDA starts gas network links in Serres, Halkida, Lamia

The response to a pilot program staged by the recently established gas distributor DEDA, offering gas network connections to consumers in the provincial cities of Serres, Halkida and Lami, has proven positive.

According to energypress sources, at least 1,200 applications have already been submitted and DEDA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DEPA, the public gas corporation, is now proceeding with connections.

Contractors tasked with maintaining the network are handling these initial connections while a tender offering the task to additional sub-contractors is expected to be held within the next three months.

DEDA is also working on developing the gas networks in central Greece, central Macedonia and eastern Macedonia-Thrace.

A loan from the European Bank, DEDA company capital worth 19.6 million euros, as well as EU funds, through the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), will finance these network development projects.

They are planned to cover a total distance of 1,215 kilometers, offer an annual gas transmission capacity of 6.2 TWh, and serve the natural gas needs of 124,000 buildings.

DEDA also plans to follow up with network development work in the west Macedonia region. The gas supplier will seek European Investment Bank (EIB) funding for this stage.

Development of the west Macedonian region’s gas network has been made possible following negotiations with the TAP consortium, which led to an agreement offering DEDA gas supply via three points along the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, now being developed and planned to run across northern Greece. Two of these supply points will cover needs in the west Macedonia, Ptolemaida and Kastoria regions.

DEDA was founded at the beginning of 2017 and charged with operating most of the country’s natural gas network, except for the wider Athens area, Thessaly and Thessaloniki.

 

 

 

 

DEDA, sole provider of smart meters, set for pilot program in north

Gas distributor DEDA is preparing to launch a pilot program offering direct connections to interested, network-located consumers in Serres, northern Greece. Halkida will follow, and if the response by consumers is positive, DEDA intends to further pursue its pilot program plan in the provincial cities of Lamia, Thebes and Katerini. The inclusion of Kilkis and Drama, both in the north, is also being considered.

Based on its five-year business plan, DEDA plans to develop distribution networks and create new markets in cities situated in Greece’s northern regions of central Macedonia, eastern Macedonia and Thrace, as well as other mainland areas.

DEDA plans to invest 142 million euros in the aforementioned areas between 2018 and 2022. Of this amount, 74.4 million has been secured through EU funding, the European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide 48 million euros, while the company, itself, intends to contribute 19.6 million euros.

DEDA, a wholly owned subsidiary of DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, established to cover supply to all parts of Greece except for the wider Athens area, Thessaly and Thessaloniki, currently stands as the only distributor installing smart meters for all its consumers.

DEDA, through its network, is currently supplying Halkor, Anoxal, Elval, Fulgor, Heron, M&M, Elpedison, Promitheas, as well as DEPA, EPA Attiki and EPA Thes.

These firms supply natural gas to a total of 162 industrial and commercial sector consumers through DEDA’s network. In 2016, their total natural gas consumption exceeded 2.3 TWh.

 

DEDA network links plan to start from Serres next month

DEDA, an enterprise established recently following DEPA’s (Public Gas Corporation) retreat from the country’s gas networks, plans to soon move ahead with a plan to offer network connections to customers in the provincial cities of Serres and Halkida, as well as Lamia, Thebes and Katerini, if the required consumer interest exists, while pilot programs for Kilkis and Drama are being considered.

DEDA, which has ensured EU development funding to cover connection costs for existing networks, plans to begin the initiative from Serres next month.

The reliance on EU funding is expected to keep network usage fees at relatively low levels and minimize connection costs for customers, a key company principal at DEDA.

As part of its five-year business plan covering 2018 to 2022, already endorsed, the newly established gas company also plans to develop gas distribution networks and create new markets in a total of 18 provincial cities in Greece’s north and central mainland.

Coverage of the investment’s cost, budgeted at 142 million euros, is expected to include 74.4 million euros of EU development funds and 48 million euros from the European Investment Bank. DEDA plans to provide 19.6 million euros of its own capital.

The company plans to rely on CNG for the Orestiada, Veria, Giannitsa, Amfissa and Karpenisi markets.

An entirely owned DEPA subsidiary, DEDA was founded last January to cover all local gas markets except wider Athens, Thessaly and Thessaloniki.

 

 

Lebedev bid for gas distribution license in Greece’s north set for rejection

Russian entrepreneur Leonid Lebedev may have previously been granted a local gas supply license through his Sintez Green Energy Hellas company, but an initiative by Sintez Energy Europe Constructing Limited, a Cyprus-based subsidiary also controlled by Lebedev, for a distribution license covering the Serres, Veria and Kilkis areas in the country’s north, will most likely be rejected, according to latest indications.

Sintez Energy Europe Constructing Limited is essentially aiming to set up a gas distribution company for a region targeted by DEDA, a recently established DEPA (Public Gas Corporation) spin-off founded to serve areas not covered by DEPA, including Serres, Veria and Kilkis. DEPA has retreated from the country’s network.

Serres, Veria and Kilkis have been included in a five-year development plan submitted by DEDA to RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, meaning that the Sintez application for a distribution license concerning these areas had little or no chance of succeeding from the start.

This application will most likely be rejected – probably soon – unless RAE deems that DEDA does not possess the needed capital to execute the business plan it has submitted.

The Sintez application concerns a 50-year gas distribution license, via pipelines, for CNG and LNG.

This is the third entrepreneurial initiative taken by Lebedev in the Greek market. Previously, the Russian businessman’s Sintez Green Energy Hellas applied for a natural gas supply license to RAE, which proved successful. This move was preceded by an application from Windows International Hellas, another Lebedev-linked venture, seeking a license to construct a natural gas pipeline from Thessaloniki to Fyrom (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). Though this bid has yet to be examined by RAE, the Windows International Hellas proposal appears favorable compared to an equivalent plan prepared by DESFA, the natural gas grid operator.

Four years ago, Lebedev had offered 1.9 billion euros to aquire DEPA and DESFA in a tender that did not proceed.

DEPA planning new gas infrastructure for west Macedonia region

DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, responding to energy infrastructure development needs addressed by local authorities in the west Macedonia region of northern Greece, has designed a natural gas compressor unit for installation at the TAP project’s GBV21 Block Valve Station in the Perdikkas area, located slightly north of Ptolemaida.

The gas corporation intends to include the compressor unit project in its investment program. Its development will enable tankers to load and transfer natural gas to existing telethermal units in the northern provincial cities of Kozani, Prolemaida, Amynteo and Florina.

The same compressor unit will also be used to transfer natural gas to the nearby provincial city Grevena and supply its prospective natural gas distribution network to be constructed by DEDA, a DEPA offshoot. The distribution network is planned to cater to Grevena household and commercial consumers.

Lebedev gas license bid for north facing DEDA obstacle

An application submitted by Sintez Energy Europe Constructing Limited, a Cyprus-based subsidiary controlled by Russian entrepreneur Leonid Lebedev, for a gas distribution license covering Greece’s Serres, Veria and Kilkis areas in the north, currently being processed by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is likely to stumble as a result of plans envisioned by DEDA, a DEPA (Public Gas Corporation) spin-off, in these markets.

DEDA, an enterprise established recently following DEPA’s step back from the country’s gas networks, appears to have already secured distribution rights in these parts of northern Greece. DEDA included the Serres, Veria and Kilkis areas in a five-year development plan submitted to RAE.

As a result, DEDA’s plan to develop distribution networks in these three regions will most likely stop other firms from being granted gas disttribution licenses here – unless RAE deems that DEDA does not possess sufficient funds to actualize the business plan it has submitted.

Sintez Energy Europe Constructing Limited, reportedly being represented by a local law firm headed by Eleni Tzouli, wife of Greece’s defense minister Panos Kammenos, is seeking a 50-year license for distribution of CNG and LNG.

DEDA has been tasked with developing, expanding and activating natural gas networks in regions not covered by the parent company DEPA’s existing ventures serving the wider Athens area, Thessaly and Thessaloniki.

This latest move by Lebedev represents his third enrepreneurial initiave in the Greek market. Previously, Sintez Green Energy Hellas applied for a natural gas supply license, which, according to sources, has been granted by RAE. In addition, Windows International Hellas, another Lebedev-linked venture, is seeking to construct a natural gas pipeline to transmit gas from Thessaloniki to Fyrom (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). Though the licence bid for this project has yet to be examined, it seems to be better positioned, in terms of maturity, than an equivalent project plan submitted by DESFA, the natural gas grid operator.