Speaking at the third Athens Investment Forum, Konstantinos Xifaras, CEO of the Greek Public Natural Gas Company DEPA said that within the next five years the company will invest around 200 million euros in new activities, which also contains a RES portfolio of 200 megawatts (MW) as well as hydrogen and biomethane projects.
Mr Xifaras stressed that DEPA not only withstood the pressures of the pandemic but also regained significant market share and successfully completed its transformation into three distinct companies with full operational autonomy.
He also informed that DEPA renegotiated its long-term gas supply contracts achieving large price reductions and returning tens of millions of euros to its customers. The company’s new business plan 2020-2024 aims to accelerate the company’s transformation to a modern energy company with increased verticality and a particular emphasis on supporting retail segment as well as strengthening synergies with the wholesale activity.
“The aim is also to increase competitiveness in the core business, through the creation of a flexible organisational structure in the group, upgrading skills and the development of external cooperations,” said the CEO of DEPA. With this in mind, the company plans to upgrade its international commercial presence in the markets of Southeast Europe.
“The central axis of the new business plan is the expansion of new activities that will see 200 million euros of investment in the next five years,” said Mr Xifaras.
DEPA plans to systematically invest in the development of small-scale liquefied natural gas, focusing mainly on the use of LNG as a marine fuel and to expand its nationwide network of CNG service stations.
With investments of more than 120 million euros, DEPA aims to establish its green portfolio of more than 200 MW by participating in photovoltaic or wind projects that are under development or in operation. Proposals for developing hydrogen and biomethane projects are also on the table.
Mr Xifaras underlined that the company wish to increase its involvement in major international projects, such as the EastMed pipeline, the Gas Interconnector Greece – Bulgaria (IGB) and the LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis contributing this way tot he diversification of supply security in Greece and Europe.
“These are the reasons why DEPA has attracted the interest of leading domestic and international investors in the context of the ongoing privatisation, as the acquisition will certainly secure the investor a leading position in the Greek and regional energy market,” pointed out Mr Xifaras.
The Greek government is selling its 65 per cent stake in DEPA Commercial as part of the terms of the country’s final bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, to help open up the market.
A total of seven bidders have been invited to the second, binding round of the DEPA Trade privatisation tender, namely C.G. Gas Limited of Greek Copelouzos group; Consortium of Hellenic Petroleum and Italian Edison; GEK Terna; Consortium of Motor Oil and Public Power Corporation (PPC); Mytilineos Group; MET Holding; and Shell Gas.