ELPE, well placed with marine fuels, also eyeing gas, renewable energy

Strategic decisions made by Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) back in 2006 for an upgrade of the enterprise’s refinery in Elefsina, west of Athens, enabling production of the entire range of fuels, including new-era marine fuel, has provided flexibility for robust financial results.

Most refineries in the wider Mediterranean region are currently pressured by significantly narrowed profit margins. ELPE is an exception. Its ability to produce new low-suphur marine fuels has secured a strategic advantage over competitors.

Further investments currently being made in the company’s refinery division are expected to boost profit figures from levels of 700 to 800 million euros to one billion euros.

As part of its transformation for the future, ELPE is also striving for swifter growth in the renewable energy market. It aims to reach an operating RES capacity of 600 MW over the next two years. ELPE intends to participate in the next RES auction with facilities measuring 460 MW.

In the gas market, ELPE is closely following the forthcoming privatization of gas utility DEPA. The petroleum group, holding a 35 percent stake in DEPA, will either seek to acquire a full stake or sell its minority stake. The company wants a clear-cut solution.

Elsewhere, ELPE has already decided to sell its stake in distribution networks, promising a major cash influx.

In electricity, a final investment decision on the development of a new gas-fueled power station is expected by summer. This decision will greatly depend on the progress of the target model, as well as the government’s commitment to its decarbonization policy.

As for its hydrocarbon interests, ELPE plans to stage a first drilling operation at the Gulf of Patras block by the end of 2020. Seismic surveys at other blocks in its hydrocarbon porfolio are currently being conducted.


Motor Oil’s Crete LPG unit decision in January, deputy tells

Motor Oil is conducting a feasibility study for the development of a 120-MW LPG-fueled combined cycle power power plant on Crete, an investment with a budget estimate of 100 million euros, deputy managing director Petros Tzannetakis (photo) has informed analysts during a conference call.

A finalized investment decision on the Crete project will be made early in 2020, the deputy chief added.

The energy group is continuing its gradual penetration of the renewable energy market and considering various small-scale projects, the company focus, Tzannetakis noted.

Motor Oil recently acquired Stefaner Energy, holding three wind energy station licenses with a total capacity of 9.4 MW. The energy group is considering projects that would capitalize on the right opportunities, Tzannetakis said, responding to questions on Motor Oil’s renewable energy plans.

Motor Oil is now preparing to proceed with a 310 million-euro investment for an upgrade of its Corinth refinery for production of higher-octane gasoline, the deputy informed, adding this project is expected to begin in January.

Tzannetakis, during the teleconference, supported Motor Oil’s refining facilities are ready to meet tougher standards set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for marine fuels with lower sulfur content.


DEPA, Attica Group agree on LNG marine fuel development

DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, has signed a memorandum of cooperation with Attica Group, the parent company behind Superfast Ferries and Blue Star Ferries, for LNG use as a passenger shipping marine fuel, it was announced today.

The two sides will now conduct a joint study concerning LNG use for the Attica Group’s fleet before further decisions are made for the next step of this business association.

The use of natural gas in the shipping sector promises to provide positive steps in the field of environmental protection, which, if combined with lower operating costs, could lead to new prospects.

The turn to natural gas by shipping companies promises to ensure compliance with legislation on the sulfur content of marine fuels. The International Maritime Origanization (IMO) set new sulfur-linked marine fuel standards in October which will become valid as of January 1, 2020.

With these new standards in mind, DEPA and the Attica Group are taking part in Poseidon Med II, a European program aiming for the establishment of LNG as the primary fuel in the shipping industry and the development of an adequate LNG refueling network for ships.

Greece, Italy, Cyprus and the ports of Piraeus, Patras, Heraklion, Venice, Igoumenitsa and Limassol are taking part in the program, being coordinated by DEPA. It is budgeted at 53.3 million euros and is being co-financed by the European Commission, covering 50 percent of the project’s cost.