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Europe’s energy security will pass through Greece: PM welcomes investments in LNG infrastructure

“What investments can we make in Greece to help Europe redraw the energy map?” asked Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, opening the World LNG Summit and Awards in Athens. “Greece is at the forefront of this change.”

Indeed, Greece has heavily invested in gas and LNG infrastructure over many years. The Revithoussa LNG Terminal, with a storage capacity of 225,000 cubic metres of LNG and a regasification capacity of 1,400 cubic metres per hour, as a Sustained Maximum Send out Rate, is an important energy asset for Greece, providing security of energy supply, operational flexibility in the transmission system and increased capability to meet peak gas demand. An asset that the Prime Minister defined as indispensable and without which it is impossible to even imagine Greece.
According to him, thanks to the investments in the LNG and gas infrastructure, Greece is now becoming “an exporter of LNG security to its neighbours.”

“Europe’s energy security will pass through Greece,” he said.

And many other projects in Greece will help the country achieve this goal.
Earlier in May, Mr Mitsotakis and his Bulgarian former counterpart, Kiril Petkov co-signed a special symbolic plaque for the commencement of the realisation of the Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) in Alexandroupolis, entering the final stage of implementation. The construction and operation of the Alexandroupolis FSRU will strengthen the strategic role of Greece as an energy hub for the wider region of Southeastern Europe and will offer alternative sources and gas supply routes to the region, enhancing energy security of supply and energy autonomy, during challenging times. The project will also make Alexandroupolis an energy gateway for the entire region of Southeastern Europe, highlighting the strategic importance of the city and stimulating the local economy and employment.

Prime Minister Mitsotakis also mentioned the country’s pipeline infrastructure, which is expanding. Among others, he mentioned the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) connecting the Caspian Sea to Italy, supporting the European target of having more gas from Azerbaijan; then the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (ICGB), which transported over 303 gigawatt-hours (GWh in the first days of commercial operation of the gas pipeline, at the beginning of October.

“We want to help our regional partners diversify very rapidly away from Russian gas,” said the Prime Minister. “Our consumption has declined by 80 per cent but gas will remain an integral part of our energy transition strategy. Not only for local use but we will carry more gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe.”

And not only gas: Mr Mitsotakis also mentioned the possibility of transporting biomethane and hydrogen in the years ahead.

“Energy is facing an existential threat and we cannot continue to operate as before,” he continued. “Decisive actions are needed to improve a degree of order in a market that is no longer functioning properly. Europe should invest more in gas supply. We cannot eliminate Russian gas without investment in the production which means we need more LNG and we need to accelerate our search for hydrocarbons in Greece.”

However, he underlined that while gas will remain a crucial aspect of Greece’s energy mix, it will not be at the expense of renewable development. He recalled that, in October, the entire country was powered only with renewable energy for 6 hours.

“We are one of the most resilient countries in terms of energy, as ranked by the European Commission,” added the Minister of Environment and Energy, Kostas Skrekas. “We are a facilitator for Europe’s decarbonisation and the green transition is our only option to face global challenges”

Also according to him, natural gas will retain a key role as a stability factor but its environmental footprint must be reduced and important steps were recently taken with the global methane pledge, launched for the first time at COP26, in 2021.

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