By Lefteris Yallouros – Athens
Important developments in the Greek energy sector are currently unfolding on three fronts.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras announced a hydroelectric project in Messochora, central Greece, is set to begin after a series of delays since the 1980’s. The work is part of the greater project on the diversion of part of the Acheloos River in Thessaly in which an investment of approximately 283 million has been made.
A further 110 million euros will be invested in the project by the Greek Public Power Corporation (DEI). The PM revealed two years will be need for its completion, and that every year it is delayed it costs DEI 25 million euros. Losses to the Public Power Corp by the delays exceed 300 million euros at present, he added.
“To give you a sense of the value of production, this project could cover the entire energy consumption of an island like Corfu, or Peristeri in Attica or the annual consumption of Lesvos and Chios islands together. This is the first of a series of growth interventions beginning throughout Greece,” he stressed.
In a separate development, Greece will open up 20 offshore and three onshore blocks ranging from 1,800 to 9,500 square kilometers in western Greece and the south of Crete. A call for tenders is set to be published in the EU Gazette at the end of this month, according to a representative of the Greek Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.
The deal will open up an area measuring 101,000 square kilometers. Companies will have six months to submit their offers after the call for tenders is published.
After the assessment and negotiation period is over, exploration activities are expected to start in September, 2015.
Lastly, Bulgaria is in talks with Greece on gas imports, fearing the Ukraine crisis may lead to disruption of supply from Russia.
“We are working to reverse natural gas via an existing gas pipeline with Greece as we could receive additional quantities between 1 to 3 million cubic meters per day,” Bulgarian Interim Economy Minister Vasil Shtonov said.
Bulgaria plans to reserve capacity at a liquefied natural gas terminal near Athens and then pump it through an existing pipeline between Bulgaria and Greece, which at present carries Russian gas to Greece, Reuters reported Thursday.