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Natural gas from Greece to Bulgaria will start in late 2013

01 March 2013 / 20:03:20  GRReporter
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Victoria Mindova

From December 2013, Greece could be supplying Bulgaria with 300 million cubic metres of natural gas per year from a liquefied natural gas terminal in Revithousa. With the development of the investment, the capacity of the interconnection pipeline could reach four billion cubic metres per year as stated by George Paparsenos, Chief Executive Officer of the company that manages the gas network in Greece DESFA, for GRReporte exclusively.

"We will provide the opportunity for gas supplies in the case of need. The purchase will depend on the trading firms operating in the region and the needs at a particular time," said the specialist. The new pipeline is part of the development programme for gas supply security. It will support the flexibility of the operators and will have a positive effect on competitiveness. Bulgaria's natural gas requirements remain relatively low for now and the unofficial data show that they did not exceed three billion cubic metres over the last year. However, the opening of a new corridor extends the capabilities of the country to add to its suppliers and strengthen its energy security.

The energy issues were discussed at the forum on "Investments in energy and sustainable development", which gathered together experts from all fields of the energy sector. It emerged from the forum that electricity consumption in Greece fell by 6% in 2012 compared to 2008. According to the data presented by Spyros Vassos, head of Admime S.A. (a subsidiary of DEI, which manages the electricity transmission), 40% of power generation in the next 10 years will come from fuels alternative to brown coals. In 2012, only 18% of the total electricity consumed came from alternative sources of energy.

According to Dinos Benroubis, who is the executive manager of Protergia S.A., Greece consumes 52,000 TWh (Terra Watt-hours) per year. 27-28 TWh of which should be reformed and brown coals abandoned. "These electricity producing units would use natural gas", states the specialist. According to him, this is the only logical choice taking into account the fact that solar and wind energy technologies are not yet sufficiently profitable and the fact that the brown coals remain in the past due to the high level of pollution in their combustion. The energy expert is adamant that natural gas is the best possible option for the industry today. Since 2007, Protergia S.A. has invested in Greece one billion euro in the development of electricity. Half of this amount was equity and the remaining amount was obtained through a bank loan. The company trades in electricity, gas and other raw materials in the field of energy.

From 7 to 12% of the investment in the development of energy projects goes to the research carried out by technical companies as explained by the head of Asprofos Engeneering S.A., which is a subsidiary of Hellenic Petroleum. The company conducted a series of research studies for the implementation of various energy projects, including the ill-fated Burgas-Alexandroupolos project. The company is expected to explore the areas, which the Trans Atlantic Pipeline is expected to cross if chosen to carry the Azeri gas to Europe. The cost of the research is almost five million euro for Greece and Asprofos Engeneering S.A. relies on the preference of the Trans Atlantic Pipeline over Nabucco.

Thodoris Arseniou, who heads the energy project of J & P Avax, states that private entrepreneurs in Greece want the public sector to assist in their efforts to develop and grow. The company participated as a subcontractor in the expansion of the gas network in the country, but also in other construction activities related to the improvement of the public infrastructure. According to Arseniou, the success of major construction companies lies in the development of projects internationally. He stresses that the biggest competitors of J & P Avax in the international markets are Chinese and Korean companies that have been receiving state aid. At the same time, the Greek company does not receive state aid and in addition, the guarantees provided abroad by ministries and local banks are not credible. In order for the company to operate abroad, it has to find support for the funding and to obtain guarantees from foreign banks.

Tags: EconomyCompaniesDESFAInterconnection pipelineNatural gasBulgaria Greece
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