PPC’s ENEL Romania takeover talks at price under local standards

Power utility PPC appears to have reached an advanced stage in its negotiations with Italy’s ENEL for the acquisition of the latter’s Romanian subsidiary ENEL Romania, the various aspects of the deal said to be at price levels well below Greek market standards.

PPC’s offer for ENEL Romania’s retail division, for example, totaling approximately three million customers, results in a price of less than 90 euros per customer, which is less than half than the cost of recent corresponding acquisitions completed in the Greek market.

Mytilineos’ acquisition of Watt+Volt, an energy supplier with a portfolio numbering 200,000 customers, was worth 36 million euros, or 180 euros per customer.

The ENEL Romania deal’s price concerning networks is also being negotiated at a price level well below the cost of corresponding acquisitions recently completed in Greece. The price paid by Australia’s Macquarie for a 49 percent stake in Greek distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO works out to 20 percent over the level being discussed between PPC and ENEL for ENEL Romania’s networks.

The same goes for the Romanian subsidiary’s renewable energy division. For example, Motor Oil acquired ELTECH Anemos for a figure twelve times its EBITDA, whereas the Romanian subsidiary’s RES portfolio is being negotiated at a price level of less than ten times its EBITDA.

PPC is negotiating a full acquisition of ENEL Romania for a takeover promising to expand the Greek utility’s interests in the Balkans, with the region’s fastest-growing economy as a base.

 

Turbine installed at GEK TERNA-Motor Oil gas-fueled power station

A Siemens HL-class gas turbine, the first to be used in Greece, has been installed at a prospective 877-MW state-of-the-art combined cycle, gas-fueled power station being developed by GEK-TERNA and Motor Oil Hellas in Komotini, northeastern Greece, planned to be launched in early 2024, Motor Oil Hellas has announced.

The project, Thermoilektriki Komotinis, an investment estimated to be worth 375 million euros, promises to be one of the most efficient power plants in Greece. Once operational, it will emit 75 percent less CO2 than lignite-fired power plants.

Thermoilektriki Komotinis is the second gas-fueled power station that has undergone development in Greece over recent years, following the construction, by the Mytilineos group, of an 825-MW unit in Viotia, northwest of Athens, whose commercial launch is imminent.

Construction of a third gas-fueled power station, in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, as a joint venture by power utility PPC, gas utility DEPA and the Copelouzos group, is scheduled to officially commence this Saturday.

The country requires at least three additional power stations to secure energy sufficiency, according to a recent study conducted by power grid operator IPTO for 2025 to 2035.

Greek energy market attracting major interest at London roadshow

Foreign funds are expressing major investment interest in Greece’s renewable energy market as well as the country’s plan for green energy transportation from the Middle East, while major international energy groups appear extremely interested in Greek upstream developments and the ongoing transformation of Greece as a natural gas hub, a series of one-on-one and group meetings between highly ranked officials of Greek energy groups and international investors have highlighted following the first day of a roadshow in London.

The London event, co-organized by the Athens bourse and Morgan Stanley, has already indicated that 2023 could be a bumper year for foreign investments in Greece’s energy sector.

Of 29 Greek companies taking part in the road show, ten hail from the energy sector, a representation highlighting the strong international investment interest in Greece’s energy market.

Power grid operator IPTO’s ADMIE Holdings, Cenergy, Ellaktor, Elvalhalcor, Helleniq Energy, Motor Oil, Mytilineos, PPC, TERNA and Viohalko, the ten Greek energy groups taking part, will hold further meetings with investors today. These sessions could lay the foundations for new deals.

Over 300 meetings are scheduled to take place at the London event. Many of these will purely focus on energy matters.

 

Revythoussa LNG slot prices soar, driven by Balkan exports

Driven by LNG export potential to Bulgaria and the wider eastern European region, energy companies have submitted bids of between 3.5 and 4 million euros for slots at gas grid operator DESFA’s LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens.

These bids, made at an ongoing DESFA auction offering slots for the next four years, are roughly three-and-a-half times higher than price levels recorded last year.

Two Bulgarian companies, Bulgargaz and Kolmar, as well as Greece’s power utility PPC and Motor Oil, were the winning bidders at the auction’s session yesterday, securing four of eight Revythoussa slots offered. The other four slots are expected to be taken by bidders today.

Earlier in the week, on Monday, gas company DEPA secured eight slots for 4 TWh, Mytilineos secured five slots for 5 TWh, as did and Bulgaria’s MET.

Greece’s recent transformation as a strategic gas exporter for the wider region has prompted a surge in demand for slots at the Revythoussa LNG terminal.

During the year’s first nine-month period, the country’s gas exports increased by 293 percent, representing over 20 TWh. Bulgaria was the main recipient. Greece has been covering the neighboring country’s gas needs for some months now, following natural gas pipeline disruptions from Russia.

 

Natural gas, heating oil retail prices level for November

The recent plunge in international gas prices appears to have neutralized a retail price advantage that had been gained by heating oil, made possible by generous subsidies. Natural gas and heating oil are now at similar price levels for November.

Though natural gas suppliers have yet to announce retail prices for November, their price levels for the month are widely expected to remain unchanged compared to October, at a level of between 11 and 12 cents per KWh.

Besides a subsidy offered by gas utility DEPA, gas prices are also shaped by the TTF benchmark average of the previous month. Amsterdam’s TTF benchmark ended October at levels of between 135 and 145 euros per MWh, well below levels of 200 to 210 euros per MWh a month earlier.

In response, DEPA has greatly reduced its subsidy for consumers from 9 cents per KWh to 2.5 cents per KWh. Deducting the reduced 2.5 cent subsidy results in a retail natural gas price of 11 to 12 cents per KWh.

Heating oil will also be sold at roughly this level, or marginally higher, announcements made yesterday by the country’s refineries and their retail arms, for an extended period of heating oil subsidies, have shown.

ELPE announced it would extend its 6 cent heating oil subsidy (7.5 cents with VAT) until November 15, while Motor Oil informed it will continue offering a price as competitive as that of October.

As a result, consumers can expect heating oil to be priced at less than 1.40 euros per liter for at least another 15 days.

Motor Oil’s MORE subsidiary eyes new RES projects, steps abroad, storage

MORE (Motor Oil Renewable Energy), the Motor Oil group’s new green-energy subsidiary, just officially presented, will strive for further RES portfolio growth, expected to reach 1 GW once an agreement with ELLAKTOR is finalized, involvement in new green technologies, including energy storage, as well as expansion abroad as its next steps.

MORE already ranks as one of the country’s biggest RES producers, following its agreement with ELLAKTOR, officials noted during yesterday’s official presentation of the Motor Oil subsidiary.

MORE stands to be a company with an EBITDA figure of approximately 130 million euros and capital investments of 1.6 billion euros, they said.

Speaking at MORE’s presentation, Petros Tzannetakis, Motor Oil’s deputy managing director, described the new subsidiary as a significant pillar in Motor Oil’s development as a vertically integrated energy group.

Victor Papakonstantinou, MORE’s general manager, noted Motor Oil group’s involvement with renewable energy is a conscious choice as both the sun and wind are key features of Greece, represent low energy production cost, have a small environmental footprint, and enable electricity generation close to points of consumption, facilitating distribution.

MORE is aiming to complete its deal with ELLAKTOR by the end of the year, company officials noted.

RAE approvals steps towards new FSRUs off Corinth, Thessaloniki

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.

 

Some investors behind CCGTs stalling, others forging ahead

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.

 

 

 

 

 

NRG striving for leading role in country’s electric car market

Retail energy firm NRG, a member of the Motor Oil group, is aiming for a leading role in Greece’s electromobility market and has set ambitious objectives, including comprehensive in-charge solutions for businesses and households and an increase of the company’s recharging stations around the country from 500 at present to 1,000 by the end of the year.

New recharging station installations, through business-to-business deals, are being planned by NRG for key points, including at hotel facilities, corporate buildings, supermarket chains and shopping centers, followed by households.

NRG has already established agreements with two supermarket chains, My Market and Masoutis. The agreement with My Market involves the installation of 500 recharging stations at 250 points by the end of 2023, while the Masoutis deal entails the installation of 300 recharging stations at 150 points.

NRG has also reached hotel-sector deals with Costa Navarino and the Greco Hotel group, and, to date, has installed recharging stations at over 80 hotel points.

Covering 70 to 80 kilometers with an electric car costs approximately 6.50 euros, well below the fuel cost tallied by a conventional car model, estimated at 16 euros.

At present, approximately 13,000 plug-in hybrid cars are being used in Greece. Some 4,000 electric cars are in use.

 

Major industries turning to natural gas alternatives

Energy-intensive industries are abandoning, one after another, natural gas as an energy source and turning to alternatives in order to contain their operating costs.

Aluminium of Greece has switched to diesel for smelting procedures at its Agios Nikolaos facility in Viotia, northwest of Athens, while Motor Oil, has begun using naphtha for some of its energy needs, in place of natural gas, whose price levels have spun out of control.

According to sources, another major industrial player, ElvalHalcor, is also examining LPG as an alternative to natural gas, which the company uses for its aluminum and copper smelting furnaces.

However, this fuel switch cannot be carried out instantly as specialized studies focused on safety matters must precede the change. In addition, equipment needed for this fuel switch is not readily available. Also, ElvalHalcor is examining the extent of LPG availability in Greece as an industrial enterprise of its size would require big amounts.

European Commission energy crisis measures set to be announced, which will require energy savings and discourage the use of natural gas, are driving industrial players to seek energy source alternatives.

 

Diesel totaling 500,000 cubic meters part of emergency plan

A total of approximately 500,000 cubic meters of diesel will be required by five natural gas-fueled power stations to run on diesel should Russian gas supply be totally disrupted, authorities involved in the country’s emergency energy plan have estimated.

The turn to diesel, along with lignite, is part of the country’s wider emergency plan. The strategy’s diesel refueling effort at the five power stations, a procedure to last 16 hours a day over a period of between 100 and 120 days, is feasible, officials representing the Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) and Motor Oil refineries informed an energy ministry meeting yesterday that also involved RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

The refinery officials believe the emergency plan’s additional capacity required for a three-month period from January through March, 2023, seen is a crucial period, is feasible, despite heightened diesel demand expected in the industrial sector.

Logistical issues stand as the plan’s biggest challenge as the refineries will need to ensure uninterrupted overland diesel supply to power utility PPC’s power station in Komotini, northeastern Greece, and Elpedison’s facility in Thisvi, northwest of Athens, both geographically demanding as a fleet of fuel trucks will need to be assembled for overland supply to the two units. The number of trucks and this supply plan’s cost remain undetermined.

PPC’s power station in Lavrio, southeast of Athens, and Elpedison’s power station in Thessaloniki do not face such issues as both these facilities are situated close to ports.

 

 

 

Power producer diesel reserves focus of emergency meeting

Top-ranked officials representing the country’s Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) and Motor Oil refineries, electricity producers, as well as RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, will take part in an emergency meeting called for today by the energy ministry to address diesel safety reserves and a conversion to this energy source by a number of natural gas-fueled power stations should Russia completely disrupt its gas supply.

According to a RAE plan, five natural gas-fueled power stations will run on diesel should Moscow turn off the taps. These facilities will need to maintain an adequate level of diesel reserves covering the emergency plan.

Diesel reserve level requirements for these power stations have been increased, up from 5 to 20 days of consumption, or maximum storage capacity. Electricity producers must reach the increased safety levels by November 1.

Shipping sector developing offshore wind farm interest

The shipping industry, domestic and foreign, is expressing growing investment interest for offshore wind farms and is awaiting the emerging sector’s regulatory framework to develop such projects in Greek sea territory, energypress sources have informed.

Though plans are still nascent, a considerable number of shipping companies and shipowners are already in talks with consultants for related feasibility studies.

Conditions for shipping industry players are favorable. Their earnings have skyrocketed amid abnormal market conditions, worldwide, ever since the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020. These higher earnings have generated additional capital for investment, prompting shipowners to consider the potential of offshore wind farms.

Anticipating strong growth in this emerging sector, metals production group Viohalco plans to proceed with an investment estimated to be worth 70 and 100 million euros, which, through subsidiary Cenergy Holdings, will merge the knowhow of group members Hellenic Cables and Corinth Pipeworks for the establishment of the world’s first industrialized unit for floating wind turbines.

Norway’s Equinor, the world’s biggest developer of offshore wind farms, has already expressed interest to develop projects in Greece, proposing an area between the Cyclades islands of Tinos, Syros and Mykonos.

In addition, TERNA Energy has reached an agreement with Ocean Winds, a partnership between EDP Renewables and Engie, for co-development of offshore wind farms offering a 1.5-GW capacity. Also, Mytilineos has reached an agreement with Denmark’s Copenhagen Offshore Partners. Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) is currently engaged in talks with a major foreign company and Motor Oil has signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar).

Power utility PPC is currently involved in talks with at least five foreign companies, including Australia’s Macquarie, which recently acquired a 49 percent stake in PPC subsidiary DEDDIE/HEDNO, Greece’s distribution network operator. PPC is also believed to be in talks with American fund Quadum.

The Copelouzos group has joined forces with RF Energy to establish Aegean Offshore Wind Farms, a company planning to develop offshore parks offering an 850-MW capacity.

Greek shipowners own 5,514 ships, controlling 32 percent of the world’s tankers, 25 percent of bulk carriers and 22 percent of LNG carriers, the latter category being crucial for Europe’s effort to end its reliance on Russian natural gas.

 

ELPE, Motor Oil decide to cut Russian oil imports

Greece’s two refineries, Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) and Motor Oil, are moving ahead with plans to replace Russian crude oil imports with orders from alternative sources.

Both energy groups have planned ahead of the EU’s proposal for a ban of all oil imports from Russia by the end of this year, company officials have informed. Reduced reliance on Russian oil imports has been a part of their strategies, whose implementation began last year, the officials added.

Neither energy group has been overexposed to Russian oil imports. Motor Oil’s Russian oil imports, over the years, have represented between 5 to 7 percent of its total oil imports, while ELPE’s Russian oil imports in 2021 reached 18 percent of the group’s total, according to its annual results.

Motor Oil’s deputy managing director Petros Tzannetakis informed a teleconference with analysts last month that the energy group had cut Russian oil imports in the fourth quarter last year.

ELPE’s leadership, which had joined a business delegation accompanying Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on a recent official visit to Saudi Arabia, reached an agreement with Aramco for bigger crude oil purchases, presumably to replace Russian oil.

War, energy crisis hastening plans for new LNG facilities

Russia’s war on Ukraine and the energy crisis are precipitating new natural gas and LNG supply solutions, a development that has increased the importance of related projects planned in Greece.

The EU’s decision to drastically reduce the continent’s reliance on Russian gas by two-thirds this year and terminate the dependence prior to 2030 has increased the importance of supply routes not linked to Moscow’s interests.

This development has increased the feasibility of new infrastructure promising to facilitate natural gas and LNG supply to Europe from alternative sources.

A major US-EU agreement established late last week for supply of an additional 15 bcm, at least, of American LNG to the continent this year, and gradual supply increases further ahead in time, has greatly boosted the prospects for related infrastructure.

The EU intends to follow up on this agreement by also establishing further supply deals with other producers, including Qatar and Egypt, in an effort to increase its LNG imports by a total of 50 bcm.

The EU’s new direction, focused on LNG imports, is seen as essential as the deterioration in relations between Europe and Moscow is expected to last many years.

Related projects in Greece promise to serve as LNG gateways for the country as well as southeast and central Europe, while also establishing Greece as a gas hub with an increased geostrategic role.

The Gastrade consortium recently decided to begin planning a second FSRU for Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, as an addition to a prospective first unit.

Petroleum group Motor Oil aims to begin development of its “Dioryga Gas” FSRU project, 1.5 km southwest of the company’s refinery in Korinthos, west of Athens, by the end of the year.

Gas grid operator DESFA is preparing to further upgrade its LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens.

Also, the Mediterranean Gas company is planning to develop an FSRU at Volos port, on the mainland’s east coast. RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has already issued a license for this project.

In addition, another investor, still undisclosed, is set to begin licensing procedures for yet another FSRU in Greece, sources have informed.

 

 

 

Gas trading debuts at energy exchange, prices at €85-88

Wholesale gas trading debuted at the Greek energy exchange without any problems, transactions representing a total quantity of 1,101 MWh at prices ranging between 85 and 88 euros per MWh, energypress sources have informed.

Energy exchange officials and participating companies expressed satisfaction following the first day of trading.

Ten companies – electricity producers and natural gas suppliers – are so far registered to participate in trading on the new platform. These are: AXPO, ELPEDISON, MOTOR OIL, DEPA Commercial, DESFA, PPC, EPA ATTIKI, ZENITH, HERON and MYTILINEOS.

The new platform, operating between 9am and 2.30am, incorporates a day-ahead market covering three 24 periods in advance, as well as an intraday market. It also hosts gas balancing trading covering the grid’s needs.

Officials are planning to also launch, at a latter date, trading for futures contracts, which will enable companies to pursue hedging strategies without needing to resort to other European markets for such tools.

The new platform promises to lead to more competitive natural gas prices as it will enable companies to capitalize on opportunities whenever they arise.

 

 

PPC’s Ptolemaida V test run in summer, gas conversion in ’25

Power utility PPC’s prospective Ptolemaida V power station in northern Greece, whose construction has almost been completed, is expected to undergo a test run this coming summer, as a lignite-fired facility, ahead of its launch late in the year or early 2022, while the unit will be converted into a natural gas-fired unit as of 2025, top-ranked company officials have informed.

The officials ruled out any possibility of a deviation away from the corporation’s natural gas conversion plan for the facility by 2025.

Any delay would be detrimental for PPC given the rising cost of carbon emission rights, currently at a level of approximately 90 euros per ton, leading to losses.

Carbon emission rights would need to drop to a level of no more than 45 euros per ton for Ptolemaida V to cover its operating costs as a lignite-fired facility, the PPC officials noted.

Meanwhile, a recent European Commission decision on its Taxonomy, essentially excluding ultra-modern power stations that are exclusively fueled by natural gas from its list of green investments, comes as a setback for the financing terms achievable for such facilities, the PPC officials pointed out.

The PPC officials admitted, however, that this Brussels decision will push investors to seek emission-reducing solutions, such as mixed natural gas and hydrogen solutions.

PPC is preparing such ventures following a recent announcement concerning a related collaboration with Motor Oil.

The European Commission’s Taxonomy is intended to serve as a guide for private and public-sector investments required to achieve climate neutrality over the next 30 years.

 

Motor Oil aims to start ‘Dioryga Gas’ development at end of ‘22

Petroleum group Motor Oil aims to begin development of its “Dioryga Gas” FSRU project, 1.5 km southwest of the company’s refinery in Korinthos, west of Athens, by the end of the year. The project’s completion would offer a second southern LNG entry point for Greece.

The ongoing energy crisis throughout Europe highlights the importance of such infrastructure, promising supply diversification and energy security.

Motor Oil officials are now working on the next steps leading to the project’s development following a recent successfully completed non-binding market test, which attracted capacity slot offers well over the group’s target of two billion cubic meters.

A binding second-round market test is currently being prepared by Motor Oil officials, according to sources. The procedure is expected to commence towards the end of the second quarter, once it has been approved by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

According to the company plan, an investment decision will follow, either late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter, paving the way for the beginning of construction towards the end of the year and an estimated launch in the final quarter of 2023.

The “Dioryga Gas” FSRU project has been included in gas grid operator DESFA’s ten-year development plan covering 2021 to 2030.

Its total capacity is planned to reach 210,000 m3, while regasification is planned at 132,000 MWhs per day and 2.5 bcm annually.

IPTO’s Adequacy Report for reserve mechanism, CRM near

Power grid operator IPTO is close to completing its updated grid Adequacy Report, expected to be ready within December for delivery to the European Commission. The report is needed to determine the shape of Greece’s proposals for a Strategic Reserve Mechanism and a Capacity Remuneration Mechanism (CRM).

The way towards completing the Adequacy Report was paved by the recent establishment of three required indices –  CONE (Cost of New Entry), VOLL (Value of Lost Load) and Reliability Standard – by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, and the energy ministry. These indices need to be factored into calculations before the Adequacy Report can be completed.

Plans for two new gas-fueled power stations, one by a TERNA-Motor Oil partnership, the other by the Copelouzos group, have emerged since assumptions made for IPTO’s study, which had been put to public consultation.

The launch of the two new units over the next few years is expected to greatly contribute to the grid’s reliability.

Motor Oil aims for ‘Dioryga Gas’ FSRU market test by November

Petroleum group Motor Oil aims to launch a market test for its “Dioryga Gas” FSRU project, 1.5 km southwest of the company’s refinery in Korinthos, west of Athens, by November, as just one pending issue, approval of project guidelines by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, now remains before the test can be staged.

The market test will be staged to measure the level of utilization interest in this floating unit by potential users.

Motor Oil anticipates the FSRU, promising to offer yet another natural gas entry point to the domestic system, can be launched by the end of 2023.

The market test will be conducted over two stages, an initial round of non-binding offers reserving FSRU capacities, followed by a second round of binding offers.

Besides the project’s commercial matters, progress is also being made on the technical front. The project’s Front End Engineering Design (FEED) plans are expected to be completed early next year, while the infrastructure’s environmental licensing procedure is in progress.

The FSRU is planned to feature four LNG storage tanks with a total capacity of between 130,000 and 180,000 cubic meters, as well as a regasification unit with a capacity of 300-500 cubic meters per hour for an annual regasification capacity of 2-3 bcm.

The unit is also planned to be hydrogen-compatible.

Five hydrogen project proposals make cut for IPCEI contention

Five Greek hydrogen production project proposals have been included in a first-round list submitted by the government to the European Commission for inclusion in its Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) category, reserved for projects promising important contribution to economic growth, jobs and competitiveness.

The five Greek project proposals, approved by energy minister Kostas Skrekas and development minister Adonis Georgiadis, were selected from 23 proposals submitted by companies for contention following an annoucement by the two ministries last April.

The short list of proposals is planned to be assessed by the European Commission in November for a place on the IPCEI list, ensuring EU support funds.

The list features the 8 billion-euro White Dragon project – involving the country’s biggest energy groups with gas company DEPA Commercial as head coordinator – for a hydrogen producing facility in northern Greece’s lignite-dependent west Macedonia region; the White Dragon-linked Green HiPo project of Advent Technologies; the H2CEM hydrogen project by cement producer TITAN; the BLUE MED project, for eco-friendly blue hydrogen production, by Motor Oil and gas grid operator DESFA; as well as the H2CAT hydrogen storage and transportation project by B&T Composites.

Wholesale ascent limits NRG profit, refinery margins better at Motor Oil

Elevated wholesale electricity market prices have restricted profit figures at retail energy supplier NRG, while profit margins in the refinery division are rebounding and should further improve, significantly, in the second half, the Motor Oil Hellas group has pointed out in a presentation of first-half results to analysts.

The Motor Oil Hellas administration is confident group profit figures will be greatly reinforced by the acquisition of new RES units.

Increased carbon emission right costs impacted the group’s profit levels by 10 million euros in the first half, Motor Oil Hellas officials pointed out.

Carbon emission right costs skyrocketed to 52 euros per ton in the second quarter of 2021, up from 38 euros per ton in the current year’s first quarter, and average levels of 14 euros per ton in 2018 and five euros per ton in 2017.

Auto fuel demand in the Greek market has risen, reaching pre-pandemic levels last month, equivalent to figures achieved in August, 2019, while heating fuel demand weakened as last year’s purchase season was extended, prompting a significant sales increase, Motor Oil officials informed.

 

 

Power producer LNG orders unaffected by higher gas prices

Increased natural gas prices in international markets have not restrained LNG imports at gas grid operator DESFA’s Revythoussa islet terminal just off Athens, data provided by the operator has shown.

LNG orders at the Revythoussa terminal for the two-month period covering August and September, placed primarily by power producers, seeking international market opportunities to subdue fuel costs, as well as gas company DEPA, total more than 742,000 cubic meters, the DESFA data showed.

This quantity represents six LNG tanker loads, ordered by as many key domestic natural gas market players for the two-month period.

Two loads, the first for power utility PPC and Motor Oil Hellas, and the second for Elpedison, arrived during the first half of August. A third tanker carrying LNG orders placed by Mytilineos and Heron will follow this month, bringing August’s LNG orders total at the Revythoussa terminal to 376,000 cubic meters.

Three more LNG shipments are scheduled to arrive at the Revythoussa facility in September. The first of these concerns orders placed by PPC and Motor Oil Hellas totaling 146,000 cubic meters. The second shipment will be for a 73,000-cubic meter order placed by DEPA, while the third concerns a 147,000-cubic meter order made by Elpedison.

Natural gas prices have remained high in international markets, currently about triple the price of levels in March.

Listed players plan 16 GW in RES projects worth €16bn

Greece’s listed energy groups, alone, plan to invest a total amount of 16 billion euros over the next decade for the development of green energy projects representing over 16 GW, big figures highlighting the anticipated dominance of the green energy market in the years to come as the country transitions to cleaner energy sources and decarbonizes.

Investments are already anticipated in mature RES technologies, namely wind and solar energy facilities, while, once market and regulatory conditions allow, major investments will be made in energy storage as well as offshore wind farms.

Terna Energy, market leader in Greece’s RES market, plans to reach an installed capacity of 3,000 MW in the next five years. The company, the biggest wind energy player in Greece and southeast Europe, is currently developing wind energy projects representing 400 MW while a further 63 projects are nearing maturity.

Power utility PPC is making impressive RES market progress through its subsidiary PPC Renewables. PPC, according to the company’s updated business plan, will make investments totaling 3.4 billion euros until 2023, 34 percent of this amount concerning RES investments.

Green energy is also a key aspect in the Mytilineos group’s investment plans over the next few years. Its solar energy projects portfolio, representing 1,480 MW, is one of the biggest in Greece. The company possesses 300 MW in RES projects either operating, under construction or set for construction, as well as a further 100 MW headed for final investment decisions by the end of 2021. Mytilineos also plans to develop 20 energy storage projects, each with a 50-MW capacity.

Hellenic Petoleum (ELPE), both acquiring and developing RES projects, is aiming for a 2-GW RES portfolio by 2030.

Motor Oil Hellas recently acquired 11 operating wind farms with a total 220-MW capacity as well as a 20-MW facility still under construction from private equity fund Fortress. MOH is aiming for an operating RES capacity of 364 MW by the end of 2022 as well as a medium-term RES goal of between 500 to 600 MW.

Ellaktor is planning investments worth 1 billion euros for the development of 900 MW through its partnership with Portugal’s EDPR.

Contractor Intrakat also aims to push ahead with a one billion-euro RES investment plan. The company has joined forces with Gaia Anemos, possessing wind and PV production licenses representing approximately 1 GW, plus RES expertise.

RF Energy has reached an investment decision to develop an offshore wind farm with a capacity of 498.15 MW northeast of the island Limnos. The project is budgeted at two billion euros, according to the company.

 

 

 

GEK TERNA building vertically integrated energy group

Listed GEK TERNA construction and energy group has further reinforced its position in the energy market following its acquisition of stakes held by Engie and Qatar Petroleum in the Heron energy group.

As a result, GEK TERNA has now gained control of Heron’s energy production and supply activities.

The group’s objectives for an increased installed capacity in RES and conventional electricity generation promise to make GEK TERNA the country’s second biggest energy group, following PPC, the power utility.

Group member Terna Energy aims to increase its installed RES capacity to 3 GW by 2025, while, during the same period, or possibly one year earlier, the group intends to boost its conventional energy production capacity to 1.5 GW.

Heron is equipped with two gas-fueled power stations offering a total capacity of 600 MW, while the company has also announced it will co-develop an 877-MW power station in Komotini, northern Greece, with Motor Oil.

The GEK Terna group, with its subsidiaries Terna Energy in renewable energy, and Heron, for conventional energy production and supply, has created a 4.5-GW portfolio capable of providing electricity products through decarbonized operations.

The listed group has taken a big step into the new era of energy supply through power and purchase agreements (PPAs) as Heron will be able to offer major-scale energy consumers bilateral supply contracts for green and conventional energy.

Damco Energy CCGT boost to 840 MW approved by RAE

A plan by Damco Energy, a Copelouzos group subsidiary, to increase the capacity of its prospective natural gas-fired power station in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, from 662 MW to 840 MW has been approved by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

The energy company now needs to make an investment decision, expected within the summer, before work on the project commences, sources informed. Its licensing procedure has been completed.

According to the sources, ESM, North Macedonia’s state electricity company, set to acquire a 25 percent in the Alexandroupoli natural gas-fired power station, is now at the final of its preparations and is currently performing due diligence.

Damco Energy is one of a number of companies that have not only decided to develop natural gas-fired power stations but also to boost capacities of their respective projects to over 800 MW.

Mytilineos was the first to do so with its plan for an 826-MW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT unit) in Agios Nikolaos, Viotia, northwest of Athens, a project already being developed.

Following suit, Elpedison upgraded a licensed natural gas-fired power station plan in Thessaloniki to 826 MW, while, just weeks ago, GEK Terna and Motor Oil also announced an upgrade for their natural gas-fired power station in Komotini, northeastern Greece, a joint venture, to 877 MW.

Power utility PPC has also announced a plan to convert its new lignite-fired power station, Ptolemaida V, to a natural gas unit, planned to ultimately offer a capacity of over 1,000 MW by 2025.

The prospective natural gas-fired power stations, totaling 4.3 GW, are planned to fill the capacity gap that will be left by PPC’s withdrawal of lignite-fired power stations, exiting as part of the country’s decarbonization effort.

These new gas-fired units are also expected to export electricity to Balkan countries through grid interconnections with neighboring markets.

Vertical integration, diversification, FSRU behind MOH Komotini plant role

Petroleum group Motor Oil Hellas’ intent to further bolster its position in the electricity market is highlighted by its decision to participate, with a 50 percent stake, in a new natural gas-fired power station being jointly developed with GEK Terna in Komotini, northeastern Greece.

More specifically, MOH’s involvement in this project can be linked to three key strategic reasons: vertical integration; market diversification beyond the refining sector; and the market role of the group’s planned FSRU in Korinthos, the Dioryga Gas project.

MOH’s participation in the Komotini natural gas-fired power station, coming as an addition to another such unit, Korinthos Power, in which the petroleum group holds a 35 percent stake, is expected to further bolster its vertical integration in the electricity market.

MOH, in the retail electricity market, is represented by supplier NRG, a company displaying dynamic growth with market share gains.

The group’s acquisition of a 50 percent stake in the Komotini power plant, to offer an 877-MW capacity, will boost its presence in electricity production and creates further opportunities for trade synergies.

The group’s Dioryga Gas project in Korinthos promises to supply large LNG quantities to the Komotini power station.

According to some sources, MOH is also discussing a possible entry, as a stakeholder, into other natural gas-fired power stations that are currently being developed, so that these, too, may be supplied with LNG by the group.

IPTO factors Balkans into adequacy report calculations

IPTO is taking into account current and potential grid capacities of neighboring Balkan markets for its preparation of an updated adequacy report, a study to serve as a base for various new plans, including the shaping of Greece’s requests for a Capacity Remuneration Mechanism (CRM) and Strategic Reserve, an updated National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), and private-sector investment decisions for new natural gas-fired power stations.

IPTO is also factoring into its adequacy report calculations the heightened investment interest and activity in Greece’s RES sector, energy storage, now that this domain appears set for initiation, as well as the introduction of new elements to mechanisms and energy exchange markets, including the demand response system, remunerating major-scale electricity consumers when the operator asks them to shift their energy usage or stop consumption during high-demand peak hours, so as to balance the electricity system’s needs.

Electricity grids in the Balkans are being revamped, creating unprecedented electricity export opportunities for Greek exporters. The EU’s intention to impose a carbon border tax on electricity imports from non-EU countries adds to Greece’s export potential to the Balkans, as well as more new natural gas-fired power stations than the quantity included in the current NECP.

Given the developments, Greece now probably needs four new natural gas-fired power stations, including power utility PPC’s Ptolemaida V.

Private-sector firms are pushing ahead their plans for the development of such units, as was highlighted by a related joint announcement last Friday from GEK Terna and Motor Oil.

 

Greek enterprises face April 27 date for hydrogen project proposals

Leading Greek energy players are gearing up to participate in a European Commission effort concerning the development of the continent’s first major investments in eco-friendly hydrogen production, a key aspect in Brussels’ decarbonization drive.

Interested parties face an April 27 deadline to submit proposals concerning a number of categories, including PCI-supported sustainable low-emission hydrogen production, the emphasis placed on RES-generated hydrogen.

The White Dragon project, as it has been dubbed, has brought Greece’s biggest industrial corporations closer, as they prepare to jointly bid for project categories Brussels will subsidize in the context of the Hydrogen Europe program.

The White Dragon project provides for investments of 2.5 billion euros in electrolytic hydrogen production by means of solar energy from photovoltaic parks with a capacity of 1.5 GW. They are planned for northern Greece’s west Macedonia region, a lignite-dependent economy.

Gas utility DEPA, gas grid operator DESFA, petroleum group Motor Oil, the Mytilineos group, Terna, Hellenic Petroleum ELPE, Polish company Solaris, as well as the Demokritos National Center for Scientific Research and the Center for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH) are taking part.

The hydrogen to be produced will be used for district heating, fuel to be exported via the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, and as fuel for large vehicles such as lorries and buses.

 

Motor Oil ‘Dioryga Gas’ FSRU on DESFA 10-yr plan, set to roll

Approval by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, of gas grid operator DESFA’s ten-year grid development plan, covering 2021 to 2030, with the inclusion of petroleum group Motor Oil’s “Dioryga Gas” FSRU project, 1.5 km southwest of the company’s refinery in Korinthos, west of Athens, paves the way for this unit’s actualization.

Motor Oil anticipates the FSRU, promising to offer yet another natural gas entry point to the domestic system, can be launched by the end of 2023.

To accept LNG via sea routes, the floating storage regasification unit’s capacity is estimated at 2-3 bcm per year.

The “Dioryga Gas” FSRU project was incorporated into DESFA’s ten-year development plan following amendments to a preliminary plan, made once an agreement had been reached between the gas grid operator and Motor Oil.

This agreement ended a dispute between the two sides over the project’s absence from the operator’s ten-year plan. Motor Oil protested against the FSRU’s exclusion, expressing its disapproval to DESFA as well as RAE.

The project’s inclusion on DESFA’s ten-year plan will enable Motor Oil to take investment decisions needed for its development.

The petroleum group is currently also examining the regulatory and commercial frameworks concerning the project with the aim of offering optimal services to users. Motor Oil intends to stage a market test in 2021.

The “Dioryga Gas” FSRU project will ease the saturation pressure on Greece’s other FSRU, on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens, reinforce gas supply to the Greek market as the country’s LNG storage capacity will increase by 80 percent, and also facilitate further penetration of natural gas in remote parts of the country.