The probability of a complete disruption of Russian gas supply to Europe, including the Turk Stream pipeline supplying Greece and other Balkan countries, is becoming increasingly likely, members of the country’s crisis management team have told energypress.
Over the past few weeks, energy operators have been staging more frequent simulated tests for the country’s electricity and natural gas systems in an effort to measure the extent of energy shortages that would result from a Russian decision to cut off all Gazprom supply routes to Europe.
The tests, according to sources, include rapid moves securing additional LNG cargo orders as replacements for Russian gas quantities.
An extra FSU at the LNG terminal on Revythoussa, the islet just off Athens, in addition to one just installed at the facility, cannot be ruled out at this stage, Athanasios Dagoumas, president of RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, noted yesterday during a speech at the OT (Oikonomikos Tahydromos) Forum.
An FSU has been licensed and installed at gas grid operator DESFA’s LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens, boosting the facility’s overall capacity to 370,000 cubic meters.
The new floating storage unit’s installation at the Revythoussa terminal comes as part of the country’s energy security effort for protection should Russia disrupt its gas supply. In addition, it will also be used to serve the needs of neighboring countries.
Other steps are also being taken as part of the national energy security plan.
Greek and Italian officials have reached an advanced stage in talks for maintenance of Greek gas reserves at 1.14 TWh at an underground storage facility in the neighboring country. According to sources, the two sides are set to sign a related Memorandum of Cooperation.
The European Commission requires all EU member states without – or without sufficient – natural gas storage facilities, such as Greece, to store by November 1, gas quantities representing 15 percent of annual consumption at existing storage facilities maintained by fellow member states.
Electricity producers operating generators with dual combustion units (natural gas and diesel) are soon expected to take part in an energy ministry meeting to examine fuel-storage issues. This session could take place tomorrow.
An FSU installation at the Revythoussa LNG terminal on the islet just off Athens will begin operating by the end of this month, energy minister Kostas Skrekas has told an Economist conference.
This LNG’s resulting capacity boost, combined with the development of northeastern Greece’s Alexandroupoli FSRU, now under construction, will upgrade the country’s gasification capacity to 15 bcm annually, a level ensuring Greece’s energy sufficiency as well as supply of quantities to neighboring countries.
Greek gas exports to Bulgaria are already covering as much as 80 percent of the neighboring country’s daily gas needs.
Skrekas, at the conference, also made note of Greece’s potential as a gas and green energy hub in the region. Interconnection projects with neighboring countries will play a pivotal role.
Greece’s plans include upgrading a connection with Albania within the next few years, as well as electricity interconnections with Bulgaria and Italy. In addition, a prospective electricity grid interconnection with Egypt promises to facilitate the transportation of up to 3 GW from the north African country to Greece and, by extension, the rest of Europe.
The minister also made note of the IGB pipeline to be inaugurated this Friday by prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis ahead of its launch by the end of the month.
Electricity bill amounts for all households will be subsidized at a rate of 20 cents per KWh for consumption in July, without any upper limits and regardless of income levels, energy minister Kostas Skrekas has announced.
The total value of the government’s subsidy package for July is expected to reach 722 million euros, a 300 million-euro increase compared to June.
Besides the universal amount to be offered to all households, July’s electricity consumption for low-income households eligible for social support will be subsidized 240 euros per MWh, a rate fully absorbing the month-to-month increase.
In addition, electricity consumption concerning businesses with 35-kVA connections will be subsidized at a rate of 192 euros per MWh, while all other businesses and industries will be supported with subsidies worth 148 euros per MWh for July.
Furthermore, natural gas subsidies for industrial consumers will be subsidized at a rate of 30 euros per thermal MWh, according to the government’s support package.
Commenting on the government’s energy-security plan should Russian gas supply to Greece be disrupted, Skrekas, the energy minister, noted that the capacity of the Revythoussa LNG terminal on the islet just off Athens will be doubled with the installation of an FSU, expected to be ready to operate by the end of this month.
LNG imports will be increased, the minister noted, adding that power utility PPC’s new lignite-fired power station Ptolemaida V will be ready to operate in September. This facility will convert to gas later on. Also, five diesel-fueled units are ready to be used, if necessary, the minister informed.
RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has decided on a 12-month rental solution for an FSU installation at the country’s LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens, a move planned to increase the facility’s capacity by 70 percent at an overall cost estimated at 20 million euros, energypress sources have informed.
The FSU, to serve as an addition to three existing storage units at the Revythoussa LNG terminal, is planned for July, the sources added.
RAE’s finalized decision enables gas grid operator DESFA, operating the LNG terminal, to stage a second round of binding bids for reservation of capacities. The procedure is expected to take place imminently, by mid-May. Four companies participated in the non-binding first round.
The FSU to be moored will offer a capacity of between 150,000 and 174,000 bcm, increasing the terminal’s current capacity of 225,000 m3 to at least 375,000 m3.
Four companies have expressed non-binding interest in a procedure seeking FSU offers, both through lease and sale arrangements, for gas grid operator DESFA’s LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens.
The Revythoussa plan entails adding an FSU with a capacity of between 150,000 and 174,000 m3 to the LNG terminal, which would increase the facility’s current 225,000 m3 capacity, provided by three existing onshore storage units, to at least 375,000 m3, an increase of approximately 70 percent.
Local authorities were satisfied with the level of interest expressed by participants in the first-round procedure, staged to gauge the market for FSU availability. The procedure was staged with guidance from international broker SSY Gas.
A six-month lease solution for an FSU is now considered certain as an initial plan as RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, keeps assessing market data to decide whether an FSU lease or purchase solution is best for Revythoussa over the longer term.
A follow-up tender inviting interested parties to submit binding bids will be staged as soon as RAE has reached its decision.
According to the plan’s schedule, a follow-up tender is planned for the first half of May. Officials aim to have an FSU moored at Revythoussa by the end of July.
The purchase of a floating storage unit (FSU) for installation at the Revythoussa islet LNG terminal just off Athens, to boost the unit’s capacity for the country’s protection against a further supply crisis, is financially advantageous compared to a one-year rental of an equivalent floating storage system, officials at gas grid operator DESFA, operating the terminal, have determined following their analysis of a related cost-benefit analysis.
The analysis, forwarded for consultation by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, last Friday, compares the costs of purchase and rent solutions over a five-year period.
Taking into account depreciation over the five-year period, the purchase of an FSU works out to be 48.4 million euros cheaper than a rental solution, DESFA officials have calculated.
An FSU rental for one year would cost a net amount of 110.6 million euros, whereas a purchase would cost 172.8 million euros, ultimately beneficial over a five-year period, according to the DESFA officials.
A capacity boost at the Revythoussa LNG terminal is seen as crucial in the effort to protect the country’s energy supply security should Russia disrupt its natural gas supply to Europe.
If Moscow does decide to cut supply to the continent, Greece, it is estimated, will need to order an additional 50 or so LNG shipments over the next 12 months.
The energy ministry appears to be pushing ahead with an emergency plan for swift installation of a floating storage unit (FSU) at the country’s only existing LNG terminal, on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens, for increased LNG storage capacity ahead of next winter, sources have informed energypress.
Gas grid operator DESFA, the Revythoussa facility’s operator, has already researched the market for an appropriate vessel, which will need to be equipped with modern technology and recently built.
The FSU to be moored at Revythoussa will need to offer an LNG storage capacity of between 130,000 and 140,000 cubic meters to satisfy the Greek market’s needs, the sources noted.
Under normal conditions, procedures concerning this specific project would take over 12 months to complete and enable installation, but authorities are now moving fast as a result of the extreme impact Russia’s war on Ukraine has had on the energy market.
DESFA will present a cost-benefit analysis to the energy ministry by this Wednesday, according to sources.