Energy tops Greek EU Presidency priorities; TAP host agreement ratified

Energy tops Greek EU Presidency priorities; TAP host agreement ratified

 

By Lefteris Yallouros – Athens

Greek Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Yannis Maniatis outlined the country’s priorities for Energy during its Presidency of the EU in the first half of 2014.

Speaking at the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce, Maniatis said the aims of the government in the energy sector include a new framework of energy and environmental targets for the EU through to 2030; securing economic energy for the poorer groups of the population; saving energy; and the energy safety of Europe.

Mr. Maniatis also referred to the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline after a host agreement which will allow its construction was approved by Parliament Monday. The minister said its selection was by no means a given but required systematic effort.

The host agreement outlines how TAP will be operated in Greek territory. The 340-mile section through Greece is the longest for the 540-mile pipeline.

TAP will connect to a pipeline near the Turkish border with Greece and cross through the Adriatic Sea before it heads to European markets from Italy. The project will deliver more than 350 billion cubic feet of natural gas to European markets when it goes online in 2019.

Construction of the pipeline itself is slated for 2015.

Presenting the Greek government’s energy strategy, Maniatis highlighted six main areas:

•           Hydrocarbons exploration

•           Saving energy in buildings through the investment of EUR 1 billion in energy-saving programs

•           Implementing the home energy bill which will reduce energy costs for poorer families

•           Support of industries by lowering energy costs

•           Promoting renewable energy sources

•           Including works of interest to Greece the EU list of priorities (i.e. Greek – Bulgarian natural gas pipeline)