New investments worth €132.2m included in DESFA 10-year plan

New investments worth 132.2 million euros have been included in gas grid operator DESFA’s updated ten-year development plan covering 2017 to 2026, which was approved by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, in February but has only just been released. The plan was forwarded for consultation by RAE back in October, 2017.

RAE’s approval was delayed by a number of projects, including a gas pipeline plan to link Greece and North Macedonia, as a result of a rival project proposal supported by Windows International Hellas, an enterprise controlled by Russian entrepreneur Leonid Lebedev.

RAE needed to decide on whether to endorse the DESFA or Windows International Hellas investment plan for this pipeline project. The authority ended up approving both. Windows International Hellas and DESFA will now need to contest the project’s contract.

A plan for a small-scale dock envisioned for the Revythoussa LNG terminal on an islet close to Athens, to service small vessels with LNG capacities of 1,000 to 20,000 cubic meters, has been deferred for inclusion into the 10-year program at a latter stage. RAE has requested a full plan from DESFA for this project’s development.


PPC gearing up for gas market entry, seeking alternative supply sources

The main power utility PPC is intensifying its efforts for a natural gas market entry as an alternative business activity in the wider energy sector to compensate for anticipated losses to result from its disinvestment of lignite units and electricity market share contraction, both required by the bailout agreement.

“The natural gas market is changing rapidly. We also want to enter the retail gas market,” PPC’s chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis told a parliamentary committee yesterday.

The PPC boss made clear the power utility’s intentions to look for alternative supply sources, beyond the gas utility DEPA. An older nine-year supply agreement with DEPA expires on December 31, 2020.

“We are already preparing ourselves for the period beyond the [current] DEPA agreement,” Panagiotakis informed. “LNG has arrived and Azerbaijani gas will soon also be here. We, too, want to connect with these sources. That’s our strategy,” he added.

PPC has also made arrangements to utilize the upgraded LNG terminal on Revythoussa, an islet just off Athens.

PPC ranks as one of the country’s biggest natural gas consumers. The power utility is expected to consume 15.7 million MWh of gas in 2019 to fuel four power stations, Aliveri V, Megalopoli V, Lavrio IV and Komotini. The corporation also requires gas amounts to begin trading in the country’s retail gas market.


Mytilineos orders American LNG, energy hub role seen

The country’s second ever American LNG shipment, a 170,000-cubic meter order placed by Mytilineos that represents the first to be made by a private-sector company, is scheduled to dock at the Revythoussa islet terminal just off Athens on February 1.

A follow-up LNG order by a private-sector company would soon be made, a highly-ranked US diplomat told local media yesterday, adding the emergence of US gas in the wider region via Greece and the Revythoussa terminal carries a significant geostrategic dimension.

The arrival of American gas here reflects Washington’s vision of Greece as a prospective energy hub, the official noted, underlining the energy sector was a key matter in bilateral talks between the two countries last month.

The Mytilineos group has played a key role in ensuring the Greek grid’s sufficiency from early January, when temperatures around the country began dropping, until today, the scheduled arrival date of a new DEPA gas utility order from Algeria.

Over the past fortnight, crucial energy injections by the Mytilineos group into the Greek system have helped cover record-breaking levels of electricity demand.

The DEPA and Mytilineos LNG orders represent a change of dynamics in Greece and constitute a market reality, the US diplomat asserted.



Domestic natural gas consumption strikes new high of 290,000 MWh

Natural gas consumption in Greece struck an all-time high yesterday to reach 290,000 MWh from a previous high of 260,000 MWh set in 2017. The new record was driven by full-capacity operations of electricity producers and natural gas companies.

Gas consumption is expected to remain high today, estimates putting the figure at 270,000 MWh.

Energy market authorities have assured the country does not face any energy security concerns, noting the important sufficiency roles played by the Revythoussa LNG terminal’s increased gasification capacity and the increased ability of the Kipous gas grid interconnection in Evros, at Greece’s northeastern tip, to cover the country’s needs through inflow measuring 48,000 MWh per day.

Despite the reassurances, Greece’s grid has been stretched to its limits over the past couple of days. The country’s lignite and natural gas-fueled power stations have needed to operate at full capacity to meet the elevated electricity demand – along with crucial hydropower, electricity import and RES injections during peak hours.

Highlighting the system’s strain, the main power utility PPC’s lignite-fired power station, still operating despite the expiration of a European Commission time limit, is among the facilities contributing to cover the higher electricity demand.


RAE: Market interest needed to develop Greece-Fyrom pipeline

Sufficient market interest will be needed if a natural gas pipeline linking Thessaloniki and Fyrom (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) and an LNG bunkering facility on the islet Revythoussa, just of Athens, are to be developed, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has noted in response to a ten-year gas system development plan (2017-2026) submitted by gas grid operator DESFA.

RAE offered its conditional approval of DESFA’s plan for the Thessaloniki-Fyrom pipeline, a project budgeted at 48.7 million euros, as long as market test, including binding capacity reservation offers, is previously conducted.

As for the Revythoussa LNG bunkering facility plan, the energy authority acknowledged the project could be required in the future as a result of the shipping LNG market’s anticipated growth, while noting DESFA has yet to submit a complete plan and feasibility study supporting its sustainability.

A decision on the induction of this project into DESFA’s ten-year plan will be reached once a comprehensive plan has been submitted, RAE added.

DESFA is looking at developing an LNG bunkering facility to serve the refueling needs of vessels with capacities ranging from 1,000 to 20,000 cubic meters.

RAE also approved a plan for the development of a natural gas compressor station needed for the gas system’s hydraulic stability once the TAP pipeline, running through northern Greece, begins operating.

DEPA placing extra LNG order for bigger Revythoussa terminal

Gas utility DEPA is making arrangements with Algeria’s Sonatrach for a considerable additional LNG order to fill a new third storage tank at the upgraded LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens, once the facility’s imminent commercial launch is staged.

This LNG shipment, entailing part of a 130,000-cubic meter order, comes as an addition to scheduled deliveries for the winter season’s heightened demand.

DEPA is now awaiting the LNG terminal’s launch, which has been delayed by a few weeks, to proceed with its extra Sonatrach order. The gas utility is keen to move ahead with the order as soon as possible to avoid any price fluctuations in the European energy market, currently volatile.

According to latest estimates, the upgraded Revythoussa terminal is expected to begin operating – commercially – in the second half of December, despite a preceding official launch ceremony, planned for November 22.

The terminal’s new storage tank will offer a 95,000-cubic meter capacity, boosting the facility’s overall capacity to 225,000 cubic meters. The upgrade promises to create new gas export potential to Balkan and southeast European markets.

According to a study conducted by Greek gas grid operator DESFA, the new Revythoussa terminal will be able to cover 30 percent of gas import needs in the Balkans, Slovenia and Hungary.

The US is currently seeking European gateways for shale gas exports. Besides catering to American gas trading interests, the upgraded Revythoussa terminal could, in the medium term, also facilitate gas quantities stemming from rich Cypriot and Israeli sources in the east Mediterranean.


LNG terminal upgrade launch delay sparks mini energy alert

The commercial launch of gas grid operator DESFA’s upgraded LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens, is headed for a slight delay that could place some pressure on the country’s grid as a result of the higher energy demand anticipated as winter draws nearer.

DESFA had committed itself – in writing – to a commercial launch of a third storage tank by the end of November, for a needed capacity increase at the LNG terminal, while an official launch ceremony, possibly with the participation of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, has been planned for November 22.  This date remains unchanged.

However, latest developments suggest the commercial launch will not be possible prior to mid-December, sparking a mini energy sufficiency alert. A meeting involving all related authorities was staged yesterday at the energy ministry.

A fifteen-day delay may not seem drastic, but it could prove pivotal for Greece’s energy-related matters this winter given the European energy market’s prevailing conditions. Under a new term, electricity producers must maintain seasonal reserves.

Revythoussa LNG terminal upgrade ceremony likely on November 22

Gas grid operator DESFA is considering November 22 as the official launch ceremony date for an additional third storage tank installed at its now-upgraded LNG terminal on Revythoussa, an islet just off Athens, with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in attendance.

The LNG terminal’s third tank, a 98 million-euro investment offering a 95,000 cubic meter capacity, will boost the facility’s overall capacity to 225,000 cubic meters, promising to create new gas export potential to Balkan and southeast European markets, until now entirely dependent on Russia’s Gazprom.

The project, begun in 2011 and initially scheduled for completion at the end of 2015, is pivotal for the country’s energy security concerns. Gas utility DEPA has not needed to book an additional shipment to ensure energy supply in the event of a crisis this coming winter.

The Revythoussa LNG facility’s overall upgrade, budgeted at 147 million euros, also includes an LNG gasification capacity increase to 1,400 cubic meters of LNG per hour from 1,000. Annual capacity will reach 7 billion cubic meters, of which 2 billion is expected to cater to domestic needs and the other 5 million to the Balkans.

US officials recently visited the Revythoussa facility for information concerning its ability to absorb US gas shipments. DEPA and energy firm Cheniere, America’s leading natural gas exporter, are currently engaged in talks.

DESFA pledges, in writing, LNG terminal addition will be ready for winter

DESFA, the country’s gas grid operator, has pledged, in writing, that an additional third storage tank at its LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens, will be ready for a commercial launch between November 15 and 20, a prospect that eases concerns of an energy supply shortage in Greece this winter.

The issue is linked to a new commitment taken on by electricity producers for maintenance of seasonal reserves.

The current storage capacity offered by the Revythoussa LNG terminal’s two existing tanks does not suffice to avert energy shortage fears, meaning that the delivery of the new third tank ahead of this coming winter is crucial.

Gas utility DEPA has demanded clarification on the third tank’s delivery date and notification, well in advance, if the commitment is not to be met so that it can press ahead with leasing arrangements for a floating LNG tanker as a temporary solution. The sooner such tankers are leased the less they end up costing.

The addition of a third storage tank, which promises to increase the Revythoussa LNG terminal’s overall capacity to 225,000 cubic meters, would rid Greece’s system of any energy shortage fears.


Emergency energy measures being worked on for the winter

IPTO and DESFA, the country’s respective power and natural gas grid operators, are currently working on emergency plans, based on mild and extreme scenarios, that would counter energy supply shortages, according to sources.

Pundits have already forecast European electricity and gas markets will face pressure in the coming months, especially if it turns out to be a cold winter.

The level of readiness of an additional third storage tank, whose installation is now being finalized, at the LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens, will be crucial to the overall emergency effort. Extraordinary measures will most probably not be necessary if the new facility’s commercial launch is ready for the winter.

If needed, the measures being considered in Greece include leasing a floating LNG tanker, for a third year, as an extra storage facility at Revythoussa.

Local natural gas consumption has already reached high levels, lifted by the power grid’s greater reliance on natural gas-fueled power stations as a result of higher CO2 emission right costs that have made lignite-fired power stations less competitive. CO2 emission right costs have shown no signs of easing.


Upgraded LNG terminal set for launch amid US interest

A third storage tank added to an LNG terminal at Revythoussa, an islet close to Athens, is set for its commercial launch between late October and early November, slightly behind schedule.

The new tank, which promises to increase the facility’s overall capacity to 225,000 cubic meters, almost double its previous size, is currently undergoing test runs.

The facility’s capacity upgrade represents a pivotal development for the LNG terminal, a key asset belonging to DESFA, the natural gas grid operator, whose 66 percent is being privatized. A consortium comprised of Italy’s Snam, Spain’s Enagás Internacional and Belgium’s Fluxys has emerged as the winning bidder with a 535 million-euro offer.

DESFA is already engaged in talks with Greek and foreign firms interested in utilizing the upgraded facility and reserving capacities. They include two US firms, Cheniere and Tellurian, amid initiatives being taken for American gas imports into Greece. Cheniere and Tellurian have enquired about usage fees, capacities, technical details and port capabilities.

All firms interested in utilizing the upgraded LNG terminal at Revythoussa have made clear they are eyeing both the Greek market and the wider region to the north.


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.


Heatwave, unfavorable factors prompt energy crisis meeting

The country’s grid capacity is set to be seriously tested for the first time this summer over the next few days when temperatures around the country are forecast to soar to levels of at least 37 degrees Celsius, which is sure to prompt widespread and heavy use of air conditioning systems and lead to a surge in electricity demand.

This anticipated early-summer heatwave will coincide with a combination of unfavorable temporary factors limiting electricity generation.

A crisis team comprised of RAE (Regulatory Authority for Energy), DEPA (gas utility), DESFA (gas grid operator) and IPTO (power grid operator) officials will convene for an emergency meeting today, energypress sources informed, to discuss energy supply as the heatwave nears.

The LNG terminal at the Revythoussa islet off Athens is currently closed for expansion work, now in progress. The Greece-Italy interconnection linking the grids of both countries is temporarily closed until June 21 for maintenance work. The anticipated increased reliance on air conditioners during the heatwave will require greater electricity output from the country’s gas-fueled power stations. Also, higher electricity prices in regional markets have prompted local traders, lured by the higher prices, to increase Greek electricity exports to the north.

Participants at today’s emergency meeting will seek solutions ensuring the grid’s ability to meet heightened electricity demand over the next few days.

CO2 emission right costs have risen over the past three months, especially in May, while fuel and natural gas price levels have also climbed to remain at elevated levels.

These developments have sharply increased prices of electricity futures markets contracts both in Germany, guiding European developments, and in regional markets impacting Greece, namely Hungary, which shapes prices in Balkan countries interconnected with Greece, as well as Italy, a key market also interconnected with the Greek grid.

In Germany, wholesale electricity prices rose by approximately 10 euros per MWh in a month. In Italy, current electricity futures contracts concerning delivery in July are being established at levels of around 75 euros per MWh.

These regional price increases are already impacting the Greek market, where the System Marginal Price, or wholesale price, averaged 56.33 euros per MWh in May. June contracts are being established at 59 euros euros per MWh.

RAE and the country’s operators see all these factors as severe warnings which prompted the need for today’s meeting.







Revythoussa LNG unit, being upgraded, to close for 3 months

The country’s LNG terminal on Revythoussa, the islet just off Athens, is set to stop operating temporarily as of next Monday for a three-month period to enable the completion of the facility’s upgrade, which promises to boost its storage capacity and transportation possibilities.

The terminal’s temporary closure, planned for March 26 to June 10, has been timed to coincide with reduced gas consumption levels typically registered during this period.

Even so, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has prepared an emergency plan should natural gas-fueled electricity producers demand increased gas amounts during the summer’s early stages, as has been the case in recent years.

The authority’s emergency plan primarily entails increased natural gas imports from Russia and Turkey, and, if needed, fuel switches, from natural gas to diesel, at the main power utility PPC’s facilities in Lavrio and Komotini, both equipped for such adjustments. The RAE plan also includes provisions for an interruption of electricity exports as an extreme option.

RAE, as well as DESFA and IPTO, the country’s respective gas and electricity grid operators, will be on alert during the Revythoussa LNG teminal’s three-month closure.

The Revythoussa upgrade, expected to be completed in September, includes the development of a third LNG storage tank.

Development of a new dock, as well the upgrade of Revythoussa’s existing dock, to improve the loading potential for vessels, is also planned. The objective is to significantly boost the terminal’s LNG transportation capabilities via road and sea routes to regions beyond the gas network for usage by industrial consumers, regional distribution networks, and the transportation sector.



Gas-fueled power producers take on LNG tanker security measure costs

Natural-gas fueled electricity producers will assume the cost of a RAE (Regulatory Authority for Energy) decision to hire a tanker for additional storage capacity at the Revythoussa islet LNG terminal, just off Athens, as a precautionary gas supply measure for this winter season.

The details concerning the cost coverage of this measure have been included in an energy ministry amendment of a bill drafted for the establishment of energy communities, promising decentralized, locally generated energy solutions.

According to local regulations, licensed natural-gas fueled electricity producers need to maintain agreements with DESFA, the natural gas grid operator, as well as natural gas reserves.

Costs to be covered by natural-gas fueled electricity producers include the tanker’s hiring and operational costs.

A tanker loaded with 120,000 cubic meters of LNG arrived at Revythoussa at the beginning of this year and will remain docked at the facility until the end of February to offer supply security should high-demand conditions emerge, as was the case last winter, when the system was stretched to its limits.

LNG tanker, an energy security measure, on way to terminal

An LNG tanker leased by DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, planned to dock at the LNG terminal on Revythoussa, an islet just off Athens, as an emergency gas storage facility during the high-demand winter months, is expected to arrive tomorrow or Friday.

The tanker will be used to help maintain a regulation requiring gas-fueled electricity producers to be prepared to operate for five consecutive days if needed by the system. This regulation has not been implemented to date. It was scrapped about seven years ago when the LNG terminal’s storage capacity was deemed inadequate to support the measure.

Certain electricity production units – Elpedison’s two units and a smaller facility run by Heron – have been designed to be able to switch from natural gas to petrol, if necessary.

All other licensed units in operation have agreed to maintain LNG reserves so as to be able to function for five consecutive days.

The five-day reserves requirement will now apply for all electricity production units not equipped to switch from gas to petrol.

The LNG tanker plan, expected to safeguard the country against a repeat of last winter’s energy crisis, is estimated to cost approximately 6 million euros. The measure will be covered through the reimposition of a special supply security surcharge previously included on consumer gas bills.

The surcharge was lifted following the accumulation of a surplus worth between 9 and 10 million euros. Consumers can expect this surcharge to soon reappear on their natural gas bills. It will be maintained until the coffers at DESFA, the natural gas grid operator, are sufficiently filled to cover the cost of the precautionary LNG tanker measure.

Industrial enterprises linked to the demand response mechanism (interruptability) – it enables them to be compensated when the TSO (ADMIE/IPTO) requests that they shift their energy usage by lowering or stopping consumption during high-demand peak hours so as to balance the electricity system’s needs – will be exempted from the supply security surcharge.

Meanwhile, market players have reacted strongly against an additional measure that will require suppliers and producers to sign gas supply contracts for extended periods of roughly two and a half months.


Old surcharge on gas bills back to fund LNG tanker safety plan

A plan by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, entailing the hiring of an LNG tanker as a storage facility to be moored at the terminal on Revythoussa, an islet just off Athens, is set to be implemented as an additional supply security measure for the crucial winter months.

This solution, expected to cost approximately 6 million euros, will be financed through a Special Supply Security Surcharge to be reimposed on natural gas bills for all consumers.

The surcharge had also been imposed on natural gas bills in the past, raising cash reserves of between 9 and 10 million euros for DESFA, the natural gas grid operator, before being lifted.

It will be covered by all gas supply companies, which will pass on the cost to consumers, as well as gas-fueled electricity producers. Major-scale industrial producers registered for the demand response mechanism (interruptability) will be exempted from the surcharge. (The demand response mechanism enables major industrial enterprises to be compensated when the TSO (ADMIE/IPTO) requests that they shift their energy usage by lowering or stopping consumption during high-demand peak hours so as to balance the electricity system’s needs).

The LNG tanker solution will be adopted to prevent supply problems encountered last winter. Other measures have also been taken but authorities believe these may not suffice should conditions end up being extreme.

RAE appears prepared to adopt the 6 million-euro additional safety measure rather than risk a repeat of the energy crisis last December and February.

“This measure may possibly not be needed in the end. Nobody knows. But it can be considered certain that countering a crisis by using last winter’s tools, such as converting natural gas-fueled electricity production units into petroleum-based units, would end up costing a lot more,” a local authority explained.

The main power utility PPC is now claiming tens of millions of euros for such conversions needed last winter.


US ambassador visits LNG terminal, anticipating exports to Greece

The US Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, recently visited Greece’s LNG terminal on Revythoussa, the islet just off Athens, in anticipation of American LNG exports to Greece.

Following his visit to the facility, whose capacity is currently being increased with the addition of a third tank, the US ambassador noted that he hopes the upgrade will “make Greece the third European importer of American LNG,” following Poland and Lithuania.

Pyatt was shown around the Revythoussa facility by Sotiris Nikas, president and managing director of DESFA, Greece’s natural gas grid operator.

He described the facility as “impressive” and had a close-up look at the construction work in progress for the terminal’s new tank.

Earlier this week, Pyatt, who spoke at the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce’s annual “Greek Economy Conference”, stressed US firms are clearly interested in the country’s energy sector, while adding the US government is encouraging collaboration between Greek and American energy enterprises.

It appears the prospect of American LNG imports by Greece was discussed between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and American president Donald Trump during the Greek leader’s recent official visit to the US.

Pyatt has also taken initiatives to support such a development as part of a wider effort to bolster the US’s role in the European energy market.

Two US firms have already declared an interest to participate in a new DEPA (Public Gas Corporation) tender for additional LNG quanties between 2018 and 2020.

Also, US firm Tellurian Energy recently expressed an interest to enter a consortium planning to develop a floating LNG terminal (FSRU) in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece.



Gas supply security surcharge sum may be used for measures

A plan for precautionary measures aiming to prevent a repeat of the strain felt by the Greek energy system last winter appears to be approaching finalization.

Just days ago, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, discussed its plan at a meeting involving the participation of the country’s electricity producers, according to energypress sources.

Two basic safety measures have been adopted. Electricity producers equipped with systems able to run on natural gas and diesel will need to be ready to convert whenever requested to do so. This measure concerns facilities operated by the main power utility PPC, Elpedison and a small Heron unit.

The second measure entails the hiring of an LNG tanker to be moored at the country’s terminal on Revythoussa, an islet just off Athens, which is planned to provide supply support to the country’s energy system during the crucial two-month period from mid-December to mid-February.

The LNG tanker will serve as an additional storage facility. A capacity increase project at Revythoussa is not yet ready.

Furthermore, DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, has reached agreements with Algeria for greater than usual LNG supply orders. The purchase price for these additional LNG amounts has remained unchanged, according to sources.

RAE’s two measures, however, do entail an additional cost. The LNG tanker at Revythoussa will cost between 5 and 6 million euros, according to figures provided by DEPA, which proposed this solution.

Test runs and maintenance work concerning the double-fuel solution offering flexibility at the electricity production units will require an estimated 3 to 4 million euros.

The total cost of the measures is approximately equivalent to a DESFA (natural gas grid operator) cash amount accumulated through a supply security surcharge imposed on natural gas bills. This amount could be used to cover the cost of the measures.

RAE, determined to avoid being criticized for remaining passive, has been exploring precautionary measures since last March, following last winter’s energy supply crisis.

The European Commmissin has also worked intensively to pin-point the causes of last winter’s energy crisis in Europe and provide solutions this season.

Concerns as to what could be in store this winter have intensified as it appears France, a key factor behind last winter’s energy crisis, could face similar problems this season. Maintenance work delays at French nuclear power stations have been reported, while certain nuclear facilities may not be available.

LNG tanker at Revythoussa a likely precautionary measure for winter

DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, appears likely to dock an LNG tanker at the LNG terminal on Revythoussa, an islet just off Athens, during the upcoming winter’s crucial two-month period between mid-December and mid-February in order to ensure sufficient gas supply and avoid the energy alerts experienced in Greece last winter.

This plan, involving the participation of RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is expected to cost approximately 6 million euros and will be covered through a special suppy security surcharge included on consumer gas bills. Local authorities are expected to reach a decision within the next few days.

Other safety measures have already been adopted as it has been determined that regular natural gas supply levels would be insufficient should extreme circumstances arise.

Local authorities appear determined to bring in an LNG tanker to the Revythoussa terminal despite the fact that this precautionary measure may end up proving unnecessary.

“There is a chance of the LNG tanker not being needed. Nobody knows, but it can be said with certainty that countering an energy crisis using last winter’s means – such as switching from gas to petrol at power stations – would cost considerably more,” one official noted.

Without a doubt, RAE does not want to end up being accused of remaining passive should last winter’s extreme events be repeated.

The European Commission has also shown a great interest to fully identify and resolve the causes of last year’s European energy crisis. It wants precautionary measures to be taken.

Concerns as to what could be in store this winter have been on the rise as it appears France, a key factor behind last winter’s energy crisis, could face similar problems this season. Maintenance work delays at French nuclear power stations have been reported, while certain nuclear facilities may not be available.

In Greece, it remains unclear whether an extension to the demand response mechanism (interruptability), a key tool for controlling energy consumption levels, will have been approved in time for the winter. This mechanism enables major industrial enterprises to be compensated when the TSO (ADMIE/IPTO) requests that they shift their energy usage by lowering or stopping consumption during high-demand peak hours so as to balance the electricity system’s needs.

Furthermore, more burdensome surcharges in the making for local electricity producers, as well as the uncertainty as to whether new CATs will have been introduced on time, add to the overall uncertainty in Greece for the winter.


DEPA proposes LNG tanker at Revythoussa for winter needs

DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, is considering to ship in a floating LNG tanker to the Revythoussa islet facility, just off Athens, as a means of covering the crucial high-demand winter period between mid-December and mid-February and avoiding a repeat of last year’s energy crisis, the gas company has informed RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

This is seen as an effective solution by authorities but it remains unclear who would be responsible for its cost.

RAE has requested a comprehensive business plan from DEPA for this initiative, sources noted.

Determined to live up to its responsibility as an effective monitoring authority, RAE is just as keen to find a solution that would prevent the energy-related concerns experienced last winter.

Fears of a repeat of last year’s European energy crisis this winter have resurfaced as latest developments suggest a maintenance program concerning certain French nuclear power stations could fall behind schedule, while some nuclear units in this country may need to temporarily stop operating.

Concerns have risen in Greece as an extension of the demand response mechanism (interruptability) for the industrial sector, a key tool for controlling consumption levels, has yet to be approved by the European Commission. The mechanism enables major industrial enterprises to be compensated when the TSO (ADMIE/IPTO) requests that they shift their energy usage by lowering or stopping consumption during high-demand peak hours so as to balance the electricity system’s needs.

Also, it remains uncertain whether the new temporary CAT mechanism, compensating electricity production units for output contributing to the grid’s adequacy and stability, will have been implemented by the winter.

RAE is expecting detailed data from DESFA, the natural gas grid operator, assessing the possibility of a gas shortage risk in Greece this winter and the country’s capacity to reinforce infrastructure.



DESFA sees Alexandroupoli LNG unit as Revythoussa rival

Officials at DESFA, the natural gas grid operator, are viewing plans for the development of a floating LNG terminal (FSRU) in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, as a rival project for the operator’s existing facility in Revythoussa, an islet just off Athens.

Gastrade, a Greek natural gas infrastructure company behind the Alexandroupoli FSRU project’s development, yesterday signed a cooperation agreement with DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, formalizing their affiliation for the prospective LNG terminal in the country’s northeast.

Meanwhile, DESFA is currently upgrading its Revythoussa LNG terminal. The upgrade, budgeted at 45 million euros and expected to be completed in approximately ten months, includes the addition of a third tank and a port infrastructure enlargement that will enable larger-capacity tankers to dock.

Once the Revythoussa terminal’s upgrade is completed it will operate at just 20 percent capacity, based on the current level of activity at the facility. This essentially means the Revythoussa terminal will be in a position to cover increased activity, rendering a second LNG terminal in Greece needless.

The Alexandroupoli FSRU is being supported by the US and EU as its development would facilitate US gas supply across the Greek border to the wider Balkan region and help reduce Russia’s dominance.

However, regardless of whether LNG exports are made from Revythoussa or Alexandroupoli, a metering station situated at Sidirokastro, northern Greece, needs to be upgraded if LNG is to be transmitted to Bulgaria for wider distribution. This metering station is now being upgraded. The effort includes a capacity boost as well as a reverse-flow transmission system.

In addition, the Bulgarian network, currently saturated as a result of Russian gas supply, also requires an upgrade, including greater capacity, if Greek LNG exports are to be transmitted into the neighboring country.

Developers of the Alexandroupoli FSRU should not expect national gas system funding, DESFA sources noted.



DESFA to upgrade LNG terminal on Revythoussa

DESFA, Greece’s natural gas grid operator, plans to construct a new docking facility at the country’s LNG terminal on Revythoussa, an islet just off Athens, and also upgrade the unit’s existing pier, the objective being to improve gas supply to the domestic market and also contribute to a wider plan aiming to establish Greece as a hub for gas supply in the wider Balkan region.

These projects will greatly improve LNG transmissions via road networks and sea routes to regions not covered by distribution networks for supply to industrial consumers.

The Revythoussa upgrade also promises to enable vessels to load at the LNG terminal and supply other vessels at Piraeus port. Distribution to gas storage facilities at coastal mainland areas and the islands will also be made possible.

The overall storage capacity improvement promised by the Revythoussa upgrade could also greatly contribute to meeting demand during peak periods, especially the winter season.

The Revythoussa facility is also seen as pivotal by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, in its effort to ensure supply security next winter.