RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has approved Elpedison’s Thessaloniki FSRU project as well as the final phase of a market test for Motor Oil’s FSRU plan, Dioryga Gas, off Corinth, west of Athens.
For Elpedison, the authority’s approval essentially signals the go-ahead for the Thessaloniki FSRU (floating storage unit) as the decision awards a 50-year project license until 2072.
A 50-50 joint venture involving Elpedison’s two partners, Edison and HELLENiQ, formerly known as Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), the Thessaloniki FSRU will be developed at the Thermaic Gulf, just a few kilometers from Dock 6 at Thessaloniki port.
The Thessaloniki FSRU, planned to consist of four storage tanks offering a total of 170,000 cubic meters, is scheduled to be launched in 2025.
Besides approving guidelines for the final phase of Motor Oil’s market test concerning the Dioryga Gas FSRU project off Corinth, RAE also approved a capacity boost for this project, to 210,000 cubic meters from 170,000 cubic meters, as had been specified in the project’s original license, as well as Diorygas Gas’ transfer to Motor Oil’s MORE subsidiary, also hosting the petroleum group’s RES projects.
Energy crisis uncertainty and the singling out of natural gas for its exorbitant price levels are factors troubling investors behind new combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plant projects.
Some investors have stalled their CCGT investment plans, waiting to see how developments unfold concerning gas prices and availability, while, on the other hand, more aggressive players are forging ahead.
Elpedison has yet to reach an investment decision on a new 860-MW CCGT at the company’s Thessaloniki refinery facilities. Despite having begun some preliminary work, Elpedison’s partners – HELLENiQ ENERGY, until recently named Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), and Edison – have put their Thessaloniki CCGT project on hold to appraise international and European energy market developments.
If developed, Elpedison’s prospective 860-MW Thessaloniki facility would add to the joint venture’s two existing facilities. The HELLENiQ ENERGY petroleum group is also planning an FSRU at the Thermaic Gulf, which would establish a Thessaloniki hub for the company.
The Copelouzos group has also been troubled by the adverse market conditions. Group member Damco Energy had secured a license for an 840-MW CCGT in Alexandroupoli, northern Greece, but the high cost of natural gas and overall market uncertainty prompted the company to not go it alone and seek partners for the project.
According to sources, power utility PPC and gas company DEPA Commercial have joined Damco Energy for the Alexandroupoli CCGT. Official announcements on the partnership are expected soon.
Elsewhere, the GEK TERNA and Motor Oil groups have begun working on an 877-MW CCGT in Komotini, northeastern Greece. The former, in its publication of first-half results, noted work on the “Thermoilektriki Komotinis” project is continuing, its scheduled launch unchanged for 2024.
The chief executive of Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), which has taken on a new name, HELLENiQ ENERGY, unveiled at a company event in Athens yesterday, took the opportunity to underline the enterprise’s interest in the renewable energy market and RES takeovers abroad, the objective being to triple its green portfolio in 18 months.
HELLENiQ ENERGY’s chief executive, Andreas Siamisiis, informed that the company is currently progressing with two RES company takeovers in foreign markets, without specifying in which countries.
According to sources, one of these two HELLENiQ ENERGY takeovers is in Italy, while the other is in one of Greece’s neighbors along the northern border.
The HELLENiQ ENERGY head told the company event that the Greek market is too small for RES takeovers, adding deals abroad serve the group’s interest to expand.
HELLENiQ ENERGY’s current portfolio of operating RES facilities is at 340 MW, which the company aims to increase to 1 GW within the next year and a half. Its RES portfolio, overall, totals 2 GW.