Greece’s GDP will contract by 1.6 billion euros and over 19,000 jobs stand to be lost as a result of power utility PPC’s ongoing withdrawal of lignite facilities, a study conducted by IOBE, the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research, has estimated, not taking into account a master plan of offsetting measures proposed for the lignite-dependent areas.
The total reduction in annual salaries as a result of these lignite unit withdrawals was estimated at 342 million euros by the IOBE study.
The Kozani area in northern Greece will be hardest hit, in terms of absolute numbers, among the country’s three lignite-dependent areas, the study estimates. Arkadia, in the central Peloponnese, and northern Greece’s Florina are the other two local economies depending on lignite.
The size of Kozani’s local economy is projected to shrink by 680 million euros, or 25 percent, according to the IOBE study. Job loss figures will also be biggest in Kozani, expected to reach 7,500, or 16 percent of the local workforce.
However, in a proportional sense, greater damage will be inflicted on Florina as its GDP is projected to contract by 28 percent, a 331 million-euro reduction. Job losses in Florina will also be considerable, reaching 2,900, or 15 percent, the IOBE study has projected.
Gas grid operator DESFA’s ten-year development plan has been approved by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, following a lengthy procedure, including consultation, that lasted several months.
A virtual pipeline proposal envisioning LNG supply to Crete, the north Aegean islands and the Dodecanese via tankers from the operator’s Revythoussa terminal just off Athens was left out of the approved plan. This is the ten-year plan’s only notable change compared to the draft forwarded for consultation.
LNG virtual pipelines serve as a substitute for conventional gas pipelines to enable the transport of LNG to points of use by sea, road or a combination of these.
The virtual pipeline proposal was removed from the DESFA ten-year plan following concerns expressed by consultation participants over higher surcharge costs for consumers that could have been imposed as part of the project’s cost recovery procedure.
The gas grid operator’s ten-year plan includes, for the first time, a natural gas outlet along the TAP route for the west Macedonia region in Greece’s north.
This TAP outlet, a project budgeted at 3 million euros and expected to be launched late in 2022, is intended to supply natural gas to the area’s provincial cities of Kozani, Ptolemaida, Florina and Amynteo for use at telethermal facilities as well as other energy needs in the post-lignite era.
The area’s telethermal system currently relies on energy produced by power utility PPC’s lignite-fired power stations, soon set for withdrawal as part of the country’s decarbonization effort.
A natural gas outlet – stemming from the TAP project – for supply to Greece’s west Macedonian region intended to help cover the region’s energy needs in the post-lignite era is one of the few new features added to a gas grid operator DESFA ten-year development plan covering 2020 to 2029, slightly revised compared to its previous version.
The aim is to supply natural gas through pipelines to the region’s provincial cities of Kozani, Ptolemaida, Florina and Amynteo for use at telethermal facilities, currently operating through heat produced at power utility PPC’s lignite-fired power stations.
These PPC units, however, will soon be withdrawn as part of the government’s plan for a decarbonized Greece by 2028, incorporated into a new National Energy and Climate Plan.
The national gas grid’s 10-year development plan, prepared by DESFA, is undergoing public consultation for the second time since August for feedback on its minor changes, including the gas supply plan for west Macedonia.
The first round of public consultation was staged by DESFA while the second round is being held by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.
A total of 49 projects budgeted at over 2.5 billion euros, overall, are included in the ten-year plan. Responses to the latest public consultation procedure face a January 10 deadline.