By Lefteris Yallouros – Athens
Golar LNG expressed interest in investing in Greece’s Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) floating LNG project. Golar LNG representatives held a meeting with Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yannis Maniatis earlier this week.
The company is thought to have expressed keen interest in financing DEPA’s project. Maniatis informed Golar officials of the importance of the project to Greece’s energy plans in relation with the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) natural gas pipeline that will allow the flow of natural gas from northern Greece to the Balkans and will be operational by late 2016.
With tensions rising in Ukraine and Europe’s energy dependency on Russia growing, Greek government officials have been in close contact with counterparts as well as energy firms in Bulgaria and Romania over energy issues.
DEPA is thought to be at the final stages of completing feasibility and environmental impact studies. The floating LNG terminal project in Northern Greece will further enchase the chances of a meaningful transfer of gas from Greece to countries such as Hungary and Croatia.
Golar LNG is one of the world’s largest independent owners and operators of LNG carriers with over 30 years of experience, now furthering business via Floating liquefaction (FLNG).The company is led by tycoon John Fredriksen (with a net worth of $11.9 billion USD in 2013) owner of the world’s largest oil tanker fleet.
The EU currently imports 60 per cent of the natural gas it uses, 80 per cent of oil and 50 per cent of the carbon it consumes. Until 2013 this dependence on natural gas and oil is expected to exceed 80 per cent and 90 per cent, respectively. Under such circumstances, Greece hopes to play a greater role in the future energy landscape of the Union.
So far, the Trans- Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is the only project in motion between Greece, Albania and Italy in terms of securing the Southern Corridor route towards EU markets. The Greek government however is exploring ways to connect Greece to Central Europe to facilitate an alternate gas flow.