A Regional Security Coordinator (RSC) role for Thessaloniki planned by Greek power grid operator IPTO with its Romanian and Bulgarian peers, Transelectrica and ESO-EAD, respectively, will be ready for launch, from its headquarters in the northern Greek city, in the first week of July, energypress sources have informed.
IPTO chief executive Manos Manousakis has declared the headquarters for southeast Europe’s RSC will be in Thessaloniki.
The Thessaloniki RSC plan was established by the Greek, Romanian and Bulgarian operators following years of negotiations with ENTSO-E, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity.
According to EU law, all European operators must, as of 2020, hand over a list of responsibilities to one regional security coordinator with headquarters at an EU member state.
These responsibilities include capacity calculation coordination, common network model development and regional security coordination.
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.
The recently formed gas distribution company EDA THESS, established to serve the wider Thessaloniki and Thessaly regions, is swiftly emerging as a formidable market player providing the most attractive offers and enjoying rapid growth and robust financial results. Business and political figures, including local authorities, visiting the company’s booth at the ongoing Thessaloniki International Fair all agreed that the company has made an impressive market entry.
Aiming to increase natural gas’s market penetration, EDA THESS was launched as a fully independent natural gas network operator for the wider Thessaloniki and Thessaly regions on December 30, 2016.
The company’s impressive strategic planning promises to ensure sustained growth in the future, pundits believe.
Since the launch of their development 16 years ago, the natural gas networks of Thessaloniki and Thessaly have attracted 54 percent of the total population in these regions, well above levels reached by other European countries. In France and Germany, for example, the gas market’s penetration has not yet reached 50 percent.
EDA THESS aims to increase this gas market penetration level to 58 percent by 2021.
Despite having to deal with adjusting to a new market framework, EDA THESS managed to increase its new connections by 60.3 percent in the first half of 2017, compared to the equivalent period a year earlier. Also in the first half this year, the company registered a 28 percent increase in the amount of natural gas distributed.
The company, according to its development strategy, plans to invest 97 million euros on network and infrastructure development between 2017 and 2021, the objective being to increase the network’s coverage by 20 percent through extensions of existing lines as well as development of new ones. The initiave aims to attract a further 61,000 households to the gas network operated by EDA THESS.