The EU’s Just Transition Fund, takings its cue from the European Investment Bank, has left natural gas projects of its funding list, noting it will not provide financial support for any investments concerning production, processing, distribution, storage or consumption of fossil fuels.
This exclusion creates issues for all the country’s natural gas projects, big or small, which authorities would have wanted to be supported by the Just Transition Fund.
They include a power utility PPC plan for a combined gas-fueled cooling, heat and power plant in Kardia, northern Greece, for coverage of the west Macedonia region’s telethermal needs, announced by the energy minister Costis Hatzidakis just days ago.
Other Greek project plans such as the Alexandroupoli FSRU and the development of an underground natural gas storage (UGS) facility at a virtually depleted offshore gas field south of Kavala have already been rejected by the EIB, unless hydrogen is incorporated into their plans to convert them into eco-friendly projects.
Natural gas, emitting approximately half the amount of CO2 produced by coal, also spills out methane, an undesired greenhouse gas.
Climate protection advocates insist new natural gas units could end up operating for decades, which would threaten the EU objective for zero emissions by 2050.