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 will not be held until early this summer following a latest deadline extension by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, on consultation regarding the facility’s business pricing framework, sources closely following the project’s developments have informed energypress.
Prior to this deadline extension, the overall procedure was delayed by several months as a result of a disagreement between RAE and gas grid operator DESFA over supplementary investments that would enable the country’s grid to cater to the needs of the UGS.
Consultation for UGS pricing framework proposals and other details, including DESFA’s ten-year development plan, was to expire on March 14, but RAE has offered participants an extension until March 30.
It is believed RAE’s text forwarded for consultation has been deemed far from satisfactory by prospective investors. If no changes are made, the tender could fail to produce a result, despite its long duration.
Such a prospect threatens to leave Greece as Europe’s only country without a single UGS for many years to come.
Elsewhere, EU member states are rushing to fill their UGS facilities ahead of next winter, following an order issued by the European Commission as part of a plan to drastically reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian gas.
The EU has a total of 170 UGS facilities, offering a total capacity of 4.2 trillion cubic metres. Germany tops the list with 60 facilities that represent 42 percent of the continent’s UGS capacity. France follows with 16 UGS facilities, Italy has 13 functional facilities and 7 under construction, while Romania has 8 UGS facilities and Bulgaria one.