Mytilineos expecting country’s first Qatar Gas order Saturday

Qatar Gas, the world’s biggest LNG producer, is expected to make its first LNG shipment to the Greek market this Saturday, when a Bahamian flagged tanker, Al Thakira, is scheduled to deliver an order placed by the Mytilineos corporate group to the Revythoussa islet LNG terminal just off Athens.

The Mytilineos group plans to cover its corporate energy needs for the local market and also export to neighboring countries with this order, measuring 140,000 cubic meters.

The order also promises to further diversify the Mytilineos group’s sources, reduce costs and provide greater flexibility for coverage of the seasonal peak’s heightened production at Mytilineos units.

The Qatari firm’s Greek market presence also promises to offer greater supply diversification for the wider region.

The Mytilineos corporate group’s planned LNG exports to neighboring markets from the Revythoussa terminal highlight Greece’s potential as a gateway for the wider Balkan region.

This is not a one-off order as the Mytilineos corporate group has signed a supply agreement with Qatar Gas for further shipments, Evangelos Mytilineos, the chief executive at the Mytilineos corporate group, recently informed a general shareholders’ meeting without offering further details.


Country’s big energy players gearing up for DEPA sale

The past couple of days could be regarded as an unofficial launch of DEPA’s (public gas corporation) privatization, given the strong interest expressed by major players for the gas utility’s commercial division.

Two of the country’s biggest energy market players, the Mytilineos corporate group and ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum), which holds a 35 percent stake of DEPA, made clear their interest in the gas utility’s commercial section yesterday, just hours after energy minister Giorgos Stathakis updated energypress on the DEPA privatization model to be adopted.

The government and country’s lenders have agreed on a DEPA sale model entailing a split of the gas utility into two subsidiaries representing its commercial and distribution network divisions. This split is expected in September.

Motor Oil Hellas is also expected to emerge as a candidate, highlighting how coveted the DEPA privatization is for energy players.

Motor Oil Hellas recently announced a plan to enter the retail natural gas market through its Coral network of gas stations.

The petroleum firm has filed a complaint to the competition committee over DEPA’s close-to-finalized effort to acquire Shell’s 49 percent of their EPA Attiki joint venture covering supply in the wider Athens area. DEPA already holds a 51 percent stake and would fully own EPA Attiki if the deal with Shell is finalized.

The Motor Oil Hellas complaint could turn into legal action as DEPA, already controlling the country’s biggest wholesale gas agreements, would also gain major control in the capital’s retail market and affect competition.

This issue is certainly not one of minor importance and could end up delaying the overall plan for the retail gas market’s restructuring as well as DEPA’s privatization.

Greece’s wholesale gas market is also changing. Until recently, DEPA controlled this market as the dominant importer of natural gas. DEPA held a 96 percent of the wholesale gas market in 2016.

Things began to change in 2017 when Prometheus Gas, a joint venture formed by the Copelouzos group and Gazpromexport, imported a total of one billion cubic meters, capturing a 20 percent share of the market. M&M Gas, a joint venture involving Motor Oil Hellas and Mytilineos, also imported gas amounts in 2017, through the Greek-Bulgarian interconnection.

Mytilineos is already very active in the wholesale natural gas market as an LNG importer. It plans to import a first Qatar Gas shipment next month. Mytilineos has also established a direct trading partnership with Gazprom and is believed to be negotiating a deal with another major player.