Distributors bent on network expansion despite crisis

Gas distributors EDA ATTIKI, EDA THESS and DEDA, unperturbed by the energy crisis, plan to expand the country’s gas network through the development of more than 3,000 kilometers of medium and low-pressure networks over the next four years, as well as digitization upgrades, investments worth a total of 740 million euros. RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has just forwarded the operators’ gas network expansion plans for consultation.

These investment plans demonstrate the willingness of all three gas operators to push ahead with their business plans for expanded gas usage as a key part of the country’s decarbonization effort, despite the sharp rise in gas prices.

Highlighting this intention, Italgas, whose acquisition of DEPA Infrastructure, the parent company of EDA ATTIKI, EDA THESS and DEDA, was completed one month ago, has just announced a loan of 580 million euros to be primarily used to help finance the gas network expansion plans of the three gas operators.

EDA ATTIKI, EDA THESS and DEDA cover the regions of wider Athens, Thessaloniki-Thessaly and the rest of Greece, respectively.

EDA THESS plans investments worth 233 million euros for new gas networks in the Thessaloniki and Thessaly regions.

EDA Attiki’s expansion plan for Athens, 570 km of low and medium-pressure networks by 2026, worth 122.23 million euros, will aim for 85,500 new connections by the end of 2026, taking the company’s total to 260,000 links.

DEDA Athens is planning over 2,000 km of new networks in seven regions, the biggest of the three initiatives, budgeted at 396 million euros.


EDA THESS network expansion lowers distribution cost up to 56%

Gas distributor EDA THESS, covering the Thessaloniki and Thessaly regions, has, besides boosting its total revenue, managed to reduce distribution costs shared by consumers as a result of the company’s swift and well-planned distribution network expansion.

The gas distributor’s household, business and industrial consumers in Thessaloniki and Thessaly are now benefitting from significant distribution cost reductions that have reached as much as 56 percent, as the network expansion is enabling EDA THESS to impose smaller distribution charges on an increased number of consumers.

Since January 1, the company’s distribution costs dropped a further 14.8 percent in Thessaloniki and 21.9 percent in Thessaly, compared to the previous regulatory period.

The company’s industrial consumers have benefited most as their distribution costs have fallen by 45 percent in Thessaloniki and 56 percent in Thessaly, compared to distribution costs up until November, 2020.

“Our job is to distribute gas to as many regions as possible and broaden its use as much as possible,” EDA THESS general manager Leonidas Bakouras told energypress in response to a related question.

Looking ahead to further expansion, EDA THESS has begun implementing a new development plan for 2021 to 2025, estimated to be worth 156 million euros.

SBE, the Federation of Industries of Greece, in a related statement, welcomed this considerable distribution cost reduction.

Major gas distribution tariff cuts a boost for industry

EDA THESS premises in Thessaloniki were visited by the President of the Federation of Industries of Greece (SBE), Mr. Athanasios Savvakis where he was welcomed by the General Manager, Mr. Leonidas Bakouras and executives of the Company.

During the meeting, the General Manager informed about the approved Development Plan 2021-2025 amounting to ~ 156 million € which is already being implemented supporting the development of the areas of responsibility of EDA THESS. As part of this ambitious Program, the Company aims to integrate more and more industries in the gas distribution network. The expansion of natural gas use to energy-intensive production units leads to an increase in their energy efficiency, to a reduction in the energy cost while at the same time environmental performance is improved.

It is worth noting that in 2020, for the region of Thessaloniki the industries MEL SSA, MEVGAL SA, Souroti SA, Roka SA, Onassis SA, B. Maliouris SA and the new gas station using CNG of EKO SA in Thessaloniki signed a connection contract, while for Thessaly the companies HELLENIC DAIRIES SA, AGRODER IKE, VIOLAR SA, CVBTECH HELLAS MIK, D,KISSA BROS & CO OE.

At the same time, Mr. Bakouras pointed out that the critical decline of distribution tariffs derives from the development planning, consistent and full implementation of an integrated strategy with profitable investments, based on technical and economic criteria. From the 1st of January the weighted average distribution tariff of EDA THESS that has been approved by the Authority shows a further decline of 14.8% in Thessaloniki and 21.9% in Thessaly, compared to the previous regulatory period.

Even more impressive is the reduction for the industrial consumers, who now enjoy reduced distribution tariffs by 45% in Thessaloniki and 56% in Thessaly compared to the distribution tariff applied in the previous regulatory period.

For his part, Mr. Savvakis expressed his satisfaction for the shaping of distribution prices at lower levels. He stressed that such a development is quite positive for the productive base and acts as an accelerator in attracting new investments, turning the region into an investment hub. By this way, the interest of investors for the development of companies in the industrial sector is mobilized, as a healthier, more flexible, and competitive environment with low energy costs is established. In this direction, EDA THESS through targeted investments, further strengthens the perspective of infrastructure development both in Northern Greece and in other areas of its License.

In line with the National Plan for Energy and Climate objectives, EDA THESS achieves the increase of natural gas penetration, contributing to the boost of the productive restructuring.

RAE approval of gas distributor tariffs paves way for DEPA Infrastructure sale

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has approved tariffs for gas utility DEPA’s distribution companies EDA Attiki, covering the wider Athens area, EDA Thess, covering Thessaloniki and Thessaly, and DEDA, covering the rest of Greece, a move that paves the way for the sale of DEPA Infrastructure, one of DEPA’s new entities established for the utility’s privatization procedure.

DEPA Infrastructure is now the parent company of the three distribution firms.

RAE examined tariff-related data submitted by the gas distributors before giving the green light.

The authority hesitated to deliver a decision on distributor tariffs over concerns that connection term discounts offered by the distributors could be regarded as a form of state aid.

RAE also appears to have approved revisions made by the distribution companies to their five-year development plans from 2020 to 2024 after making slight alterations.

The revisions by the gas distributors concern the entry of certain areas to networks as well as more rational use of CNG solutions.

The regulatory authority’s approval of the tariffs, development plans of the distribution companies, and their connection term incentives were all a prerequisite for the continuation of the DEPA Infrastructure sale.

DESFA considering west Macedonia pipeline expansion

Gas grid operator DESFA’s next ten-year development plan, for 2021 to 2030, may include gas network extension projects in areas that have not featured in previous plans, including northern Greece’s west Macedonia region.

The shape and extent of the pipeline network expansion plan will depend on the development, or not, of regional natural gas-fired power stations by electricity producers.

Preliminary considerations for DESFA’s new ten-year development plan come just weeks after a delayed approval by authorities of the operator’s ten-year plan covering 2020 to 2029.

A prospective decision by power grid operator PPC on whether its Ptolemaida V power station will operate as a natural gas-fired unit will be instrumental in shaping DESFA’s investment decisions for pipeline network expansions in the west Macedonia area.

DESFA also intends to develop metering stations at TAP project corridor points as the capacity to be offered by the TAP project will not suffice to cover regional needs if natural gas-fired power stations are developed in the west Macedonia region.

DESFA plans to construct three new metering and regulating stations in the Eordea, Kastoria and Aspros (Edessa, Naoussa, Giannitsa) areas, their budget totaling 8 million euros. These stations, whose completion is expected by the end of 2022, will enable the development of a mid and low-voltage network for natural gas transmission to these areas.


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.


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.


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.