A special event marked the beginning of construction of the new high-pressure natural gas pipeline to Western Macedonia, held on 23 February in Kozani.
The new 160-kilometre pipeline, with a budget of 163 million euros, will ensure the smooth transition of the Central and Western Macedonia regions into the decarbonisation era, providing access to natural gas to new areas and users and enabling the regions to play a leading role in the clean energy era.
This is the first pipeline in Greece and one of the first at the European level capable of transporting up to 100 per cent hydrogen. It aligns with Greece’s Gas Transmission System Operator DESFA’s strategy for the development of the hydrogen market in Greece and the national strategy for decarbonising the Greek energy system.
“As the new pipeline is the first in Greece and one of the first in Europe designed as 100 per cent ready for the transport of hydrogen, DESFA, not only further strengthens the energy interconnection of these regions, but starting from West Macedonia also creates an energy infrastructure ready to play a central role to the country’s future energy system, with multiple benefits for the area,” said the CEO of DESFA, Maria Rita Galli. “More particularly, the new pipeline enables the production of green gases such as biomethane and hydrogen, creating new investment and job opportunities in the region, while further diversifying and strengthening the security of supply of Greece with sustainable energy.”
The natural gas pipeline, along with its branches, will traverse the Central and Western Macedonia regions, covering the Imathia, Pella, Kozani and Florina Regional Units. The pipeline starts from Trikala (Imathia Regional Unit) and ends in Kardia (Kozani Regional Unit). This pipeline will provide natural gas to previously unserved areas, allowing new users (including industries, crafts, agriculture and households) in the wider region to access it. Additionally, the construction of the Metering Station in the area of Kardia will supply the unified district heating system in Kozani, Ptolemaida and Amyntaio, leading to a significant reduction in the carbon footprint of these areas and promoting environmental sustainability.
The project is expected to greatly enhance the growth of Central and Western Macedonia, play a crucial role in the economic stability of local communities and lead to the creation of new indirect and direct employment opportunities through the attraction of new investments to the region. In his greeting message, the President of the Regulatory Authority for Energy, Athanasios Dagoumas, noted that “the average Greek citizen perceives Western Macedonia as the energy centre of the country; however, the most important capital of the region is its highly specialised staff who continuously serve the public interest.”
“Central and Western Macedonia is today called upon to shape a new strategic role,” he continued. “The energy transition creates challenges, where the penetration of natural gas, biomethane and hydrogen play a significant role. This new pipeline is the first infrastructure in Greece and one of the first in Europe to fully support the transport of renewable gases, such as hydrogen. As the Regulatory Authority for Energy, we approve and supervise the timely implementation of critical energy infrastructures, which together with other actions and the human capital of the area will hopefully create a model of regional development and fair transition”.