Key energy infrastructure included in new recovery fund

The government, intending to make the most of its favourable geographic location for diversified natural gas supply in the wider region, plans to seek EU funding support, through the REPowerEU package, for a series of natural gas and electricity grid projects awaiting development.

These projects are planned to be included in the country’s revised EU Recovery and Resilience Facility, to be submitted to by the government to the European Commission by early July.

The investments will aim to end Greece’s reliance on Russian energy sources by 2027, as planned by the REPowerEU package.

Besides the addition of natural gas infrastructure, absent from Greece’s existing recovery plan as a result of the European Commission’s unfavorable view on funding support for projects concerning natural gas, seen as a transitional energy source towards zero emissions, the country’s revised plan will also seek to incorporate electricity transmission projects that will contribute to the reinforcement of renewable energy sources in Europe’s energy mix.

The government is believed to have already prepared its catalogue of electricity and natural gas infrastructure project proposals to seek funding through the REPowerEU initiative.

An electricity grid interconnection project to link the Greek and Egyptian systems and transmit green energy, exclusively, to Greece and the EU has been included in the Greek catalogue, sources informed.

An additional central gas pipeline, to run 650 km from Komotini, northeastern Greece, to Elefsina’s Patima area, west of Athens, has also been included in the Greek catalogue, following a request by DESFA, the gas grid operator.

New gas project support to end, aid until 2029 for conversions

EU funding support for new natural gas and oil-related projects is expected to end soon, but will remain available over a transition period until December 31, 2029 for natural gas projects and gas transportation and storage infrastructure conversions catering to hydrogen, natural gas and biomethane needs before ultimately serving as hydrogen transportation and storage facilities, exclusively.

The council of EU energy ministers accepted Trans-European Energy Networks (TEN-E) regulation revisions incorporating these funding support changes at a meeting in Luxembourg.

The revisions, designed to help the EU achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, are planned to be implemented in 2022, if ratified.

The revisions also include measures designed to offer sustained protection for market competition and energy supply security.

The proposed revisions identify 11 priority energy corridors and three thematic priority areas for projects of common interest funded through the Connecting Europe Facility (2021-2027).