Officials to examine domestic gas supply security, Ukraine route a concern

The indefinite outcome of ongoing negotiations between the EU and Russia for a renewal of a gas supply agreement facilitating supply to the continent via Ukraine will be a major concern for Greek energy market officials at a meeting scheduled for Monday to examine domestic energy security matters for the forthcoming winter, including alternatives in the case of emergencies.

An existing gas supply agreement between the EU and Russia expires on December 31. It remains unclear when a new agreement could be reached and what terms it could carry. Talks between Brussels and Moscow have been difficult so far.

Officials representing Greece’s energy ministry, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, gas grid operator DESFA, power grid operator IPTO and the Greek energy exchange, amongst others, will participate in Monday’s meeting, at the RAE headquarters.

In a recent report, ENTSOG, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas, tasked with facilitating and enhancing cooperation between national gas transmission system operators (TSOs) across Europe, pointed out two gas supply security concerns for Greece.

The country, along with central and other southeast European countries, would face problems if Russian supply via Ukraine were to be interrupted during high-demand periods.

Any disruption of LNG supply from Algeria, providing Greece with significant quantities, was also pointed out as a concern in the ENTSOG report.

The European Commission has requested all EU member states to provide respective gas-related energy security plans, given the uncertainty of the EU’s talks with Russia, so that Brussels may establish an overall picture.

Officials in Athens remain confident the Greek energy plan will effectively deal with gas needs in Greece this coming winter. An upgrade in the storage capacity of Greece’s Revythoussa LNG terminal close to Athens, as well as an increase in LNG imports, has helped reinforce this confidence.



Southeast Europe’s gas sector seen gaining broader prominence

A large number of regional gas projects will be developed and lead to an upgrade of southeast Europe’s role on a wider scale, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG), an association of Europe’s transmission system operators (TSOs), has noted in its latest report.

Less favorably, the ENTSOG report also notes that various other projects, such as interconnections to facilitate Europe’s north-south and east-west corridors, are currently clouded by uncertainty.

As for Greece, the new Gas Regional Investment Plan (GRIP) includes many projects that were also listed in the preceding edition, such as an LNG terminal upgrade at Revythoussa, an islet just off Athens; the TAP project; a new LNG terminal in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece; the East Med pipeline; and development of a south Kavala gas storage facility in the country’s north.

The GRIP list also includes new additions such as various compressor stations around the country’s network; a pipeline route to Fyrom (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia); as well as Tesla, the possible continuation of the “Turkish Stream” project.

On the contrary, an older DEPA (Public Gas Corporation) plan concerning the development of Aegean LNG, a terminal in Kavala, is no longer on the GRIP list.

The ENTSOG report notes that Greece and eight regional countries represent 25 percent of gas demand in Europe. This figure is expected to increase to 27 percent over the next decade as gas market sizes and penetration levels increase, according to the report.

The association’s report also forecasts that gas-fueled electricity generation will make gains over the next ten years in southeast Europe’s energy mix.

Greece’s RES sector is expected to grow and provide 32 percent of electricity output by 2027, the ENTSOG report forecast, adding that local gas demand over the next decade will experience a decline for power generation purposes and an increase in the household, commercial and industrial sectors.