Approval has been given for the Public Gas Corporation of Greece (DEPA) to take part in a Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) at the port of Alexandroupolis – the project will help turn Greece into a major energy hub for the region.
On Monday the DEPA board of trustees approved the the corporation’s participation in the project which is intended to open the natural gas market to more competition. The project is an EU Project of Common Interest (PCI) for a connected European energy grid and has the support of the United States.
DEPA will have a 20 percent stake in the capital share of Gastrade which is responsible for building the LNG gas station.
The project is also linked to the EU’s Central and South Eastern Europe Energy Connectivity works that will speed up the integration of central eastern and south eastern European gas and electricity markets. It is also linked to the IGB Project between Greece and Bulgaria which is under construction.
The final hurdle to the FSRU receiving the green light will be when the Final Investment Decision is issued some time in the third quarter of 2020 so that operations can begin in September 2022.
Meanwhile, also on Monday, Greek foreign minister Nikos Dendias said in a television interview that the EastMed pipeline agreement to be signed in Athens on 2 January between the leaders of Greece, Cyprus and Israel would help Europe to diversify its energy sources.
“It is an alternative route leading to Europe’s and the European Union’s energy independence,” Mr Dendias said.
He said that Italy would also sign on as the pipeline would terminate there.
Speaking of Turkey’s response to the deal he said: “EastMed is not a reaction,” but that “simply, Turkey, which has an inherent insecurity, interprets any move under this angle.”
The foreign minister had visited Benghazi, Libya, and said of the visit that: “the Greek side believes it should have a clear communication with the leader of the Libyan National Army after its leader had expressed his full disagreement on the memoranda signed by Turkey and the government of Tripoli” on maritime zones in the East Mediterranean.
“I wanted to hear his views firsthand and formulate a common point of view and, if necessary in the future, coordinate action in terms of cancelling in practice these unacceptable memoranda,” said Mr Dendias.
The minister that there would be a quadrilateral meeting in Cairo on 4 January between Egypt, Cyprus, Greece and France.
The minister would be spending Christmas in Istanbul where he would meet with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.