Milder, lower-cost gas storage measures planned for winter

This winter season’s Preventive Action Plan for natural gas supply security in Greece is expected to be significantly lower in cost as it will be limited to a basic set of milder precautionary measures, energypress sources have informed.

The Preventive Action Plan will be determined by the outcome of a risk study currently being conducted for the upcoming winter, deputy energy minister Alexandra Sdoukou recently informed.

Though the study’s results are not yet out, it has already become apparent that drastic energy security measures such as those taken for last winter – among them the rental of an additional FSU at the Revythoussa LNG terminal just off Athens – will not be necessary, well-informed sources have contended.

This winter, gas grid operator DESFA, running the Revythoussa LNG terminal, does not intend to hire an additional FSU, which, along with gas-storage facility rentals abroad last winter season by electricity producers operating gas-fueled power stations in Greece, ended up costing 160 million euros.

In the lead-up to last winter, Greece’s gas-fueled electricity producers were required to store natural gas at underground storage units of other EU member states, as domestic gas storage facilities did not suffice to cover precautionary-measure needs.

The country’s electricity producers have, this autumn, remained far more subdued on gas-storage action at facilities in fellow EU member states. Some of Greece’s major electricity producers have reached agreements to use gas storage facilities, primarily in Italy, if needed, sources informed.

Gas amounts involved in these agreements are believed to be well below levels foreseen by EU regulations and RAAEY, the the Regulatory Authority for Waste, Energy and Water.

Last winter, RAAEY, aligning itself with EU Regulations, which require all member states to store gas amounts equivalent to 15 percent of national annual consumption, set a 7.5 TWh storage requirement.

Market officials have expressed concerns as to whether this requirement still needs to be maintained, noting the Revythoussa LNG terminal could cover extraordinary needs through additional LNG shipments.

DESFA sees Revythoussa LNG regasification in 2024 at 3 bcm

Gas grid operator DESFA estimates that an LNG quantity of just over 3 bcm will undergo regasification at its Revythoussa terminal, just off Athens, in 2024 for subsequent delivery to the country’s grid.

The projection, resulting in 35.7 terawatt-hours (TWh) of natural gas, is slightly lower than the 38.08 TWh of natural gas delivered to the grid in 2022, when the level rose sharply year-on-year, by 54 percent.


Just two shipments scheduled for LNG terminal next month

Just two LNG cargoes are scheduled to make their way to gas grid operator DESFA’s Revythoussa terminal, just off Athens, in September, just a fraction of shipments ordered for the islet terminal a year earlier, when the energy crisis had peaked, the operator’s finalized unloading schedule for next month has shown.

The first of the two shipments, a 147,710-m3 order placed by Mytilineos, is scheduled to arrive at the LNG terminal on September 17, while a second LNG order, placed by Elpedison for a 90,000-m3 quantity, is planned to reach the Revythoussa terminal on September 30.

In September, 2022, a total of 10 LNG shipments totaling 514,435 m3 had reached DESFA’s LNG terminal.

Motor Oil: DESFA formula for tariffs should be maintained

Motor Oil and Edison, offering views as well as objections for gas grid operator DESFA’s allowed revenue and tariff formulas for 2024 in consultation staged by RAAEY, the Regulatory Authority for Waste, Energy and Water, have both stressed support for an existing CWD-type formula applied by the operator but oppose a proposed a stamp-duty formula for setting capacity charges.

Motor Oil noted that such a change would burden entry points in the national gas grid’s southern part and benefit the northern entry points.

Motor Oil also contended that DESFA should not maintain a floating LNG tank at its Revythoussa terminal just off Athens as this does not offer a permanent solution and unjustifiably burdens system users.

The energy group also stated that financial support is not needed exclusively for the Revythoussa terminal, as proved by the most recent annual auctions and their results.

Also, Motor Oil noted that DESFA’s ten-year development plan includes big budget increases of over 50 percent that are not justified by the extent of related price increases for materials. As such, Motor Oil believes greater transparency is needed.


DESFA, RAAEY apart on tariff agreement as deadline nears

Gas grid operator DESFA and RAAEY, the Regulatory Authority for Waste, Energy and Water, still far apart on the operator’s WACC figure for the next regulatory period covering 2024 to 2027, are engaged in tough negotiations as a June 5 deadline for new tariffs approaches.

DESFA set a WACC figure of 9.14 percent in a proposal put through consultation in mid-March. It has been firmly opposed by RAEEY, believing this figure is unjustifiably high.

DESFA ended 2022 with a WACC figure of 7.44 percent, a starting point for RAEEY in its negotiations. The authority, viewing DESFA’s new WACC figure as pivotal as it will serve as a guide in the levels to be set for other operators, believes the operator’s new level should be a little over last year’s 7.44 percent level, and certainly under 8 percent.

The WACC level to be applied by DESFA over the next regulatory period from 2024 to 2027 is one of four aspects that need to be resolved before gas transmission network usage tariffs are set.

DESFA also needs to finalize its operational expenditure figure for the next regulatory period so that an allowed revenue for the operator may be set. The operator has yet to send this data to RAAEY and, consequently, appears likely to miss the June 5 deadline on this matter.

DESFA’s socialization percentage concerning the operating cost of its Revythoussa LNG terminal just off Athens is another unresolved matter. DESFA has proposed that it be maintained at the current level of 50 percent for the next regulatory period.

However, Gastrade and Motor Oil, both developing new floating LNG terminals in other parts of Greece, have protested, contending this figure is excessive and would offer DESFA’s Revythoussa facility an unfair advantage and undermine the financial viability of their investments. ACER, Europe’s Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, has backed the two companies on this issue.

DESFA’s ten-year development plan covering 2023 to 2032, a fourth prerequisite needed before its new gas transmission network usage tariffs are set, has already received RAAEY’s approval.


DESFA opts to not extend expiring FSU deal for LNG terminal

Gas grid operator DESFA will not make use of an option to extend its expiring one-year lease agreement for an additional floating storage unit installed at the operator’s LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa last summer as an energy security measure, the operator’s head official has informed.

“We have already agreed with RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, that it [agreement] will not be renewed and the tanker will be released as it was a temporary solution that served the need to maintain strategic LNG stocks for power generators during the winter period,” Maria Rita Galli, CEO at DESFA, told Greek daily business newspaper Nafteboriki.

The current one-year FSU agreement, worth 20 million euros, expires in June. It ended up being a high-cost solution for DESFA as a result of the mild winter conditions as well as LNG quantity loss resulting from evaporation issues at the upper level of the FSU, a situation that could have been greatly restricted had a decision been reached to connect this unit to the Revythoussa terminal for direct transmission into the grid.

DESFA is believed to be examining the prospect of renting a new tanker for a shorter duration of five months, which would entail far lower cost, energypress sources have informed. If so, DESFA is expected to stage a tender within the upcoming summer for a new LNG tanker lease agreement.

Market officials anticipate the installation of a replacement LNG tanker will probably be needed to cover natural gas storage needs ahead of next winter.

The additional FSU currently in use increased the Revythoussa LNG terminal’s capacity by 70 percent, to approximately 370,000 cubic meters.

Motor Oil reexamining Dioryga Gas FSRU project in Corinth

Energy group Motor Oil is reexamining its plan for the Dioryga Gas FSRU project in Corinth, west of Athens, over concerns created by a change in market conditions, the group’s management revealed yesterday during its presentation of 2022 financial results to analysts.

Petros Tzannetakis, Motor Oil’s deputy managing director, told analysts the group is taking a closer look at details concerning the project.

“We are not saying that we will not go ahead, but that we are still looking at a lot of details,” Tzannetakis noted.

Results of a market test were favorable but market conditions have changed as it has become costlier and more difficult to find LNG carriers, the Motor Oil deputy explained, noting “we still need time before making an investment decision.”

If the project is deemed feasible, the investment will go ahead, Tzannetakis informed.

In its final market test, the Dioryga Gas FSRU project attracted record slot reservation figures for durations of up to 25 years and quantities totaling up to 2 bcm per year.

Located just 22 km from Greece’s existing Revythoussa islet LNG terminal, the Dioryga Gas FSRU would supply electricity producers in Greece as well as markets in southeast Europe.

Last October, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, approved a capacity increase for the Dioryga Gas FSRU to between 135,00 and 210,000 cubic meters. Motor Oil aims to launch the FSRU in the first quarter of 2024, if the company decides to go ahead with the project’s development.


Unchanged 50% socialization rate for LNG terminal proposed

Gas grid operator DESFA, in a proposal forwarded to RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has suggested that the socialization cost-coverage percentage at its Revythoussa LNG terminal remain unchanged at the present level of 50 percent over the next four-year regulatory period running from 2024 to 2027.

DESFA delivered its proposal after conducting a cost-benefit analysis whose results showed that the net benefit of the socialization of the Revythoussa LNG terminal just off Athens increases with the utilization of other LNG terminals in Greece.

A greater cost socialization rate for the Revythoussa LNG terminal helps further reduce wholesale gas prices in Greece as the price of LNG, which is the marginal fuel determining the marginal price, is reduced.

On a wider scale, this price reduction enables lower gas supply prices for the Greek market as well as neighboring markets.

DESFA, which last carried out a similar study in 2020, is required to do so every two years based on socialization cost rules for infrastructure set by ACER, Europe’s Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators.





Gas firms requested to store away 7.5 TWh total this year

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has requested natural gas suppliers to start storing away gas quantities ahead of next winter, based on EU energy-security provisions, energypress sources have informed.

The authority aims to encourage companies to make the most of current favorable terms in international gas markets. Gas price levels are currently far lower than they have been during the energy crisis, so quantities required for storage can be secured at competitive prices.

RAE is believed to have informed gas companies that a total of 7.5 TWh will need to be stored away in 2023. The country’s gas importers, DEPA Commercial, Mytilineos, Elpedison, Heron, power utility PPC and Prometheus Gas will need to take on the responsibility of securing this 7.5 TWh quantity.

An EU regulation set last year requires member states without – or without sufficient – domestic gas storage facilities to store away gas quantities representing 15 percent of the previous five-year average of annual gas usage by November 1 at existing storage facilities maintained by fellow member states.

Bulgaria’s underground Chiren gas storage facility appears to be short of space to accommodate Greek gas orders, meaning Greek importers will need to turn to costlier Italian and French alternatives, along with the FSU on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens.

Annual gas usage in Greece averaged 61.1 TWh between 2018 and 2022, meaning that a 15 percent proportion works out to 9.2 TWh. RAE deducted 1.7 TWh for alternate purposes, resulting in its 7.5-TWh figure set for this year.

Contrary to last year, companies are not expected to be compensated for any leftover gas quantities. Also, gas companies will need to assume all gas transportation and storage costs, to ultimately be passed on to consumers.

Gas companies have already expressed complaints, calling the storage requirement and its related obligations an unfeasible, high-cost plan. They are seeking revisions.


Shipowner renews interest for power station at Skaramangas

Billionaire shipowner George Prokopiou, the new owner of Hellenic Shipyards at Skaramangas, west of Athens, has rekindled his interest for the development of an LNG-fueled power station at the grounds of the shipyard, Greece’s biggest, energypress sources have informed.

The shipowner held exploratory talks with major Japanese companies active in this domain during his recent visit to Japan, as part of a business delegation accompanying Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on his official visit to the country, the sources noted.

Legislation ratified last year on property-usage matters concerning Hellenic Shipyards permits additional uses of the shipyard grounds, including installation of facilities for production, storage and transmission of electricity and natural gas.

Hellenic Shipyards are strategically placed at a coastal front close to the LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa.

The shipyards’ transfer of ownership to Prokopiou is currently being completed. Local authorities have reacted strongly against the prospect of a power station being developed in the Skaramangas area.

Charge on power producer gas wipes out Gazprom imports

An extraordinary fee of 10 euros per MWh imposed on natural gas-fueled power stations appears to have been instrumental in virtually wiping out, in January, Russian gas imports, which represented just 0.67 TWh of Greece’s 5.9 TWh total in gas imports for the month.

The extraordinary fee prompted a sharp drop in demand last month for natural gas used by electricity producers operating natural gas-fueled facilities. This fall in demand had begun taking shape in December but took on far greater proportions in January.

LNG imports via the LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens, represented the lion’s share of orders, reaching 3.9 TWh of January’s 5.9 TWh gas imports tally, or 66 percent.

According to data provided by gas grid operator DESFA, overall natural gas demand in Greece fell by 38 percent last month compared to January, 2022. Electricity producers registered a 42 percent drop in demand for natural gas last month, to 2.1 TWh from 3.66 TWh in the same month a year earlier.

Officials fear local infrastructure impact of Turkish-Bulgarian gas deal

A Turkish-Bulgarian gas supply agreement reached last month is troubling Greece’s energy players at institutional and market levels as its impact could affect the role of Greek infrastructure, officials have told energypress.

Local officials are mostly concerned about the deal’s gas supply quantity eventually growing in size rather than the small gas quantities it currently involves, as they only cover a small percentage of Bulgaria’s gas needs.

The majority of Bulgaria’s gas needs are still planned to be covered by LNG shipments coming in through the LNG terminal at Revythoussa, close to Athens, while the prospective Alexandroupoli FSRU in Greece’s northeast will, no doubt, contribute to cover Bulgarian gas demand, once the project is launched.

Turkey and Bulgaria, represented by their respective state energy companies, Botas and Bulgargaz, signed a 13-year gas supply agreement on January 3, according to which Turkey is required to supply Bulgaria an annual gas quantity of 1.5 bcm.

EFET, the European Federation of Energy Traders, wants the Turkish-Bulgarian agreement investigated by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy and Directorate-General for Competition, contending European regulations and the overall institutional framework defining the operation of gas infrastructure within the EU and access to interconnection points have been breached.

Gas demand plummets, power stations off, gas importers hit

Natural gas demand has fallen sharply in Greece, firstly as a result of the mild winter weather being experienced, which has restricted household gas demand for heating purposes, and secondly as gas-fueled power stations have remained sidelined for many hours per day because they are not competitive and are being undercut by electricity imports.

Retail gas demand for household, professional, small-scale industrial and industrial usage has fallen by as much as 50 percent, market officials have told energypress.

The reduced level of competitiveness affecting gas-fueled power stations has been primarily attributed to an extraordinary levy of 10 euros per MWh imposed, as of November 1. Also, many businesses have turned to alternatives such as diesel and LNG.

The sharp drop in natural gas usage has especially affected gas importers, some of which are committed to import agreements with take-or-pay clauses, while others have reserved slots at the Revythoussa LNG terminal close to Athens for LNG shipments.

Electricity imports currently cover approximately 25 percent of daily demand, data provided by the Hellenic Energy Exchange for the past week has shown.

PPC takeover of ENEL Romania could be just weeks away

Power utility PPC, currently conducting due diligence for its planned acquisition of Italian energy group ENEL’s Romanian subsidiary ENEL Romania, has completed about 70 percent of the procedure, without issues, and could strike a deal within the next two to four weeks.

If the two sides do reach an agreement, PPC will fully acquire the Italian group’s Romanian subsidiary, a big move facilitating the Greek utility’s plan for expansion into the Balkan energy market with Romania, the region’s fastest growing economy, as a base.

An agreement between PPC and ENEL Romania would offer the former full control of ENEL Romania’s assets, regardless of the subsidiary’s varying stakes in network, supply and RES projects, ranging from 51 to 100 percent. ENEL holds the managerial rights to all its ventures in Romania, also included in the sale.

PPC officials have ruled out any chance of also expressing interest in ENEL’s interests in the Greek market. Asset prices in the Greek market greatly exceed those in Balkan markets, they explained.

An ENEL Romania deal would offer PPC three million customers in Romania as an addition to the company’s five million existing customers in Greece.

It would also offer PPC access to rich natural gas deposits in the Black Sea, while a Romanian venture would be supplied favorably-priced LNG arriving at Greek ports – currently via the Revythoussa islet terminal just off Athens and, in the near future, through a prospective FSRU at Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece.

Four LNG shipments planned for Revythoussa terminal in January

Four LNG shipments totaling 443,130 cubic meters are scheduled to be delivered to gas grid operator DESFA’s LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens, in January, a quantity that is roughly half the amount planned for this month.

More specifically, for January, the Mytilineos group has ordered an LNG shipment of 147,710 cubic meters, gas utility DEPA has placed an order for 73,855 cubic meters, Elpedison has ordered 147,710 cubic meters and Swiss company KOLMAR has ordered an LNG shipment of 73,855 cubic meters.



Revythoussa LNG gasification demand doubles capacity

Gasification demand for prospective LNG shipments to be delivered to the LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens, by importers who have secured slots at the facility, has doubled the facility’s gasification capacity during the second stage of gas grid DESFA’s ongoing annual auction for 2023.

Gas companies secured Revythoussa slots for their LNG imports at the auction’s first stage last week and are now bidding for gasification places in the procedure’s second stage, which started yesterday and will be be completed tomorrow.

Gasification capacity available at the Revythoussa LNG terminal is approximately 15 million cubic meters per day, but gasification bids, it has become known, are currently two times over this capacity.

High gasification demand had been anticipated given the enormous potential for natural gas exports to the Balkans, as was highlighted be the high bids for Revythoussa LNG slots placed by importers at last week’s auction. Slot prices reached as high as 4 million euros, three-and-a-half times over price levels recorded a year earlier.

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.


Energy sufficiency fears rising, extra FSU may be required

The probability of a complete disruption of Russian gas supply to Europe, including the Turk Stream pipeline supplying Greece and other Balkan countries, is becoming increasingly likely, members of the country’s crisis management team have told energypress.

Over the past few weeks, energy operators have been staging more frequent simulated tests for the country’s electricity and natural gas systems in an effort to measure the extent of energy shortages that would result from a Russian decision to cut off all Gazprom supply routes to Europe.

The tests, according to sources, include rapid moves securing additional LNG cargo orders as replacements for Russian gas quantities.

An extra FSU at the LNG terminal on Revythoussa, the islet just off Athens, in addition to one just installed at the facility, cannot be ruled out at this stage, Athanasios Dagoumas, president of RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, noted yesterday during a speech at the OT (Oikonomikos Tahydromos) Forum.


September LNG quantities lower but still considerable

Natural gas quantities to be shipped to the Revythoussa islet LNG terminal just off Athens will total 562,000 cubic meters in September, below the 609,000 cubic meters tallied in August, but equally important for the country’s energy sufficiency effort.

A total of six LNG tankers will moor at the Revythoyssa facility this month, bringing in 13 separate orders.

More specifically, Bulgaria’s MET energy has ordered four shipments for 104,000 cubic meters, Motor Oil is expecting one shipment carrying 36,900 cubic meters, Bulgargaz is awaiting two shipments for a total of 110,00 cubic meters, Mytilineos has placed an order for one shipment carrying 147,700 cubic meters, Elpedison has placed an order for three shipments totaling 62,00 cubic meters, and DEPA is expecting two shipments totaling 100,000 cubic meters.

These orders have been placed to support the country’s gas-fueled power stations during these challenging times, and also to cover energy needs in neighboring Bulgaria, which has stopped receiving Russian gas for some months now.

Bulgaria’s caretaker government is seeking to increase LNG quantities received through Greece to take advantage of the Greek-Bulgarian IGB pipeline’s upcoming launch, expected imminently.

The neighboring country is also in talks with Azerbaijan for increased imports. Sofia has not ruled out new gas supply negotiations with Russia’s Gazprom should other solutions prove insufficient.

Revythoussa new FSU ready to receive LNG, slots in October

A newly installed floating storage unit at the Revythoussa LNG terminal on the islet just off Athens, which has boosted the facility’s capacity by 70 percent, is now ready to receive additional LNG shipments.

The LNG terminal’s capacity boost comes ahead of an October auction, to be held by gas grid operator DESFA, for slots at the facility.

All technically related preparations concerning the new FSU have been completed. The capacity boost enables two LNG tankers to unload at the same time, meaning scheduled tanker arrivals can  be facilitated along with short-notice import orders placed by suppliers or traders.

Such a need does not seem necessary at present, market sources have informed, but the usefulness of the terminal’s capacity boost will start becoming apparent once autumn sets in.

Suppliers and traders will be able to plan their LNG imports for 2023 in accordance with the terminal’s increased capacity as DESFA will auction off slots in October.

The FSU, leased by DESFA in June for a 12-month period through a tender, boosts the terminal’s capacity by 70 percent, from 225,000 cubic meters to 380,000 cubic meters.



FSU at Revythoussa LNG unit, Italy storage solution advances

An FSU has been licensed and installed at gas grid operator DESFA’s LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens, boosting the facility’s overall capacity to 370,000 cubic meters.

The new floating storage unit’s installation at the Revythoussa terminal comes as part of the country’s energy security effort for protection should Russia disrupt its gas supply. In addition, it will also be used to serve the needs of neighboring countries.

Other steps are also being taken as part of the national energy security plan.

Greek and Italian officials have reached an advanced stage in talks for maintenance of Greek gas reserves at 1.14 TWh at an underground storage facility in the neighboring country. According to sources, the two sides are set to sign a related Memorandum of Cooperation.

The European Commission requires all EU member states without – or without sufficient – natural gas storage facilities, such as Greece, to store by November 1, gas quantities representing 15 percent of annual consumption at existing storage facilities maintained by fellow member states.

Electricity producers operating generators with dual combustion units (natural gas and diesel) are soon expected to take part in an energy ministry meeting to examine fuel-storage issues. This session could take place tomorrow.



Minister: ‘Revythoussa FSU launch by end of this month’

An FSU installation at the Revythoussa LNG terminal on the islet just off Athens will begin operating by the end of this month, energy minister Kostas Skrekas has told an Economist conference.

This LNG’s resulting capacity boost, combined with the development of northeastern Greece’s Alexandroupoli FSRU, now under construction, will upgrade the country’s gasification capacity to 15 bcm annually, a level ensuring Greece’s energy sufficiency as well as supply of quantities to neighboring countries.

Greek gas exports to Bulgaria are already covering as much as 80 percent of the neighboring country’s daily gas needs.

Skrekas, at the conference, also made note of Greece’s potential as a gas and green energy hub in the region. Interconnection projects with neighboring countries will play a pivotal role.

Greece’s plans include upgrading a connection with Albania within the next few years, as well as electricity interconnections with Bulgaria and Italy. In addition, a prospective electricity grid interconnection with Egypt promises to facilitate the transportation of up to 3 GW from the north African country to Greece and, by extension, the rest of Europe.

The minister also made note of the IGB pipeline to be inaugurated this Friday by prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis ahead of its launch by the end of the month.

July power subsidies 20 cents per KWh for all households

Electricity bill amounts for all households will be subsidized at a rate of 20 cents per KWh for consumption in July, without any upper limits and regardless of income levels, energy minister Kostas Skrekas has announced.

The total value of the government’s subsidy package for July is expected to reach 722 million euros, a 300 million-euro increase compared to June.

Besides the universal amount to be offered to all households, July’s electricity consumption for low-income households eligible for social support will be subsidized 240 euros per MWh, a rate fully absorbing the month-to-month increase.

In addition, electricity consumption concerning businesses with 35-kVA connections will be subsidized at a rate of 192 euros per MWh, while all other businesses and industries will be supported with subsidies worth 148 euros per MWh for July.

Furthermore, natural gas subsidies for industrial consumers will be subsidized at a rate of 30 euros per thermal MWh, according to the government’s support package.

Commenting on the government’s energy-security plan should Russian gas supply to Greece be disrupted, Skrekas, the energy minister, noted that the capacity of the Revythoussa LNG terminal on the islet just off Athens will be doubled with the installation of an FSU, expected to be ready to operate by the end of this month.

LNG imports will be increased, the minister noted, adding that power utility PPC’s new lignite-fired power station Ptolemaida V will be ready to operate in September. This facility will convert to gas later on. Also, five diesel-fueled units are ready to be used, if necessary, the minister informed.

Lower-cost gas storage option for 15% of annual use sought

The energy ministry is seeking lower-cost solutions to satisfy a European Commission order requiring all EU member states without – or without sufficient – natural gas storage facilities, such as Greece, to store by November 1, gas quantities representing 15 percent of annual consumption at existing storage facilities maintained by fellow member states.

A 15 percent proportion of Greece’s annual gas consumption represents approximately 900 million cubic meters. Its supply cost, alone, is worth roughly 700 million euros, based on current prices.

Besides the cost concerns expressed by energy ministry officials over an idea to use Italian storage facilities, companies active in Greece’s wholesale gas market are also troubled.

The head official of one domestic gas wholesaler described the cost of moving ahead with the Italian plan as forbiddingly high, adding that it would be far more preferable to rent as many additional floating storage units as are needed for mooring at Greece’s LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens.

Emergency measures for supply security through 2023

The government is rushing to approve a series of emergency measures aiming to protect energy supply security through 2023 following Russia’s latest reduction of natural gas to Europe.

Last Friday, Russia halved its natural gas deliveries to Italy and Slovakia and cut off France after previously disrupting all natural gas flow to Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Poland.

An energy ministry draft bill carrying the emergency measures was submitted to parliament late last Friday night.

It includes articles for the installation of a floating storage unit at the LNG terminal on Revythoussa, the islet just off Athens; extended operation of power stations on Crete, until December 31, 2023; as well as mobilization of power stations on islands interconnected with the mainland as back-up facilities.

DG Energy chief in Athens for talks on range of key projects

The European Commission’s Director-General for Energy Ditte Juul-Joergensen will be discussing a range of issues with the energy ministry’s leadership at a meeting in Athens today, including Greece’s role in the Balkans, western Balkan interconnection projects, natural gas reserves ahead of next winter, as well as Greece’s list of projects related to REPower EU, Europe’s plan for an end to the continent’s reliance on Russian energy sources.

Athens’ plan for wholesale electricity market intervention through a mechanism designed to subdue price levels is also expected to be discussed. It still needs to be approved by the European Commission, according to government sources.

The energy ministry is confident this mechanism will be approved by Brussels following a related agreement reached by its leadership during a visit to Brussels in late May. Market officials have remained uncertain.

Greece is expected to seek funding support estimated between 7 and 8 billion euros through the REPower EU initiative for a total of 14 projects supporting energy efficiency and security.

These projects include an upgrade of the gas grid; installation of a new floating storage unit at the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens; the Dioryga Gas FSRU in Corinth, west of Athens; an FSRU at Alexandroupoli, in Greece’s northeast; the Blue Med hydrogen project; the prospective underground natural gas storage facility (UGS) at the almost depleted natural gas field of “South Kavala” in the Aegean Sea’s north; IGB and TAP capacity boosts; as well as Greek-Egyptian and Greek-Bulgarian electricity grid interconnections.

PM discusses Greek regional gas supply prospects in talks with US president

The crucial role to be played by northeastern Greece’s prospective Alexandroupoli FSRU as a project that promises to help reduce and eliminate the reliance of the Balkans and, by extension, east Europe on Russian gas was stressed during talks between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and US president Joe Biden in Washington yesterday.

The Greek leader, who stressed that the Alexandroupoli FSRU will be installed at a port just 500 km from the Ukraine border, added the facility, discussed extensively between the two leaders, will play a pivotal role in Europe’s decision to end its reliance on Russian gas.

Mitsotakis also discussed Greece’s ambitious yet not unattainable objective of becoming an energy hub in the Balkans, as a first step, as well as a key player in eastern Europe.

Three prospective LNG terminals – Alexandroupoli FSRU I and II, as well as Dioryga Gas, close to Korinthos, west of Athens – combined with the existing LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens, that will soon acquire a fourth storage unit, could elevate Greece’s regional role as a main gas supplier in the Balkans and eastern Europe.




RAE decides on 12-month FSU rental for Revythoussa, 70% capacity boost

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has decided on a 12-month rental solution for an FSU installation at the country’s LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens, a move planned to increase the facility’s capacity by 70 percent at an overall cost estimated at 20 million euros, energypress sources have informed.

The FSU, to serve as an addition to three existing storage units at the Revythoussa LNG terminal, is planned for July, the sources added.

RAE’s finalized decision enables gas grid operator DESFA, operating the LNG terminal, to stage a second round of binding bids for reservation of capacities. The procedure is expected to take place imminently, by mid-May. Four companies participated in the non-binding first round.

The FSU to be moored will offer a capacity of between 150,000 and 174,000 bcm, increasing the terminal’s current capacity of 225,000 m3 to at least 375,000 m3.



Four Revythoussa FSU offers made, 6-month lease for start

Four companies have expressed non-binding interest in a procedure seeking FSU offers, both through lease and sale arrangements, for gas grid operator DESFA’s LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens.

The Revythoussa plan entails adding an FSU with a capacity of between 150,000 and 174,000 m3 to the LNG terminal, which would increase the facility’s current 225,000 m3 capacity, provided by three existing onshore storage units, to at least 375,000 m3, an increase of approximately 70 percent.

Local authorities were satisfied with the level of interest expressed by participants in the first-round procedure, staged to gauge the market for FSU availability. The procedure was staged with guidance from international broker SSY Gas.

A six-month lease solution for an FSU is now considered certain as an initial plan as RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, keeps assessing market data to decide whether an FSU lease or purchase solution is best for Revythoussa over the longer term.

A follow-up tender inviting interested parties to submit binding bids will be staged as soon as RAE has reached its decision.

According to the plan’s schedule, a follow-up tender is planned for the first half of May. Officials aim to have an FSU moored at Revythoussa by the end of July.


PM calls emergency meeting after Russia gas cut to Bulgaria

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will hold an emergency meeting this afternoon at the government headquarters with the energy ministry leadership’s participation following Russia’s decision yesterday to disrupt gas supply to Bulgaria, following a disruption to Poland.

The Greek leader had a telephone discussion with his Bulgarian counterpart Kiril Petkov this morning, pledging Greek energy-supply support, within the framework of EU solidarity, following Russia’s decision to disrupt supply to the neighboring Balkan country.

This support will most likely stem from Greece’s LNG terminal at Revythoussa, the islet just off Athens, through a partial reservation of this facility’s capacity for Bulgaria’s needs.

Consumption in Bulgarian at this time of the year is low, meaning supply through the Revythoussa unit should help cover the neighboring country’s needs, at least temporarily.

Bulgarian-based MET Energy has already ordered a 142,500 m3 LNG shipment through the Revythoussa terminal.