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Economy

Greece Cooking With Gas: Real Hot Spot Energy Hub Now

ATHENS – In a nearly perfect geopolitical location, Greece has become a nucleus for gas supplies to the country and region without relying so much on Russia, and will add two more Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals for storage and gasification.

That makes the country an even more important supplier for the EU and the Balkans, as Greek energy groups are designing and promoting infrastructure for gas from pipelines to be integrated into the Greek LNG system, said Kathimerini.

The fuel will use Greece’s pipelines (the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria and its connectors, and the plan for the interconnection with North Macedonia) to reach the neighboring countries and reduce dependence on Turkey as well, the report said.

Besides Revythousa island, off the coast of Attica, Greece is likely to obtain terminals near Corinth and Alexandroupoli too where an LNG terminal project at Alexandroupoli is coming close to fruition.

That’s a 363.7 million euro ($411.12 million) project that has a floating platform for the reception, temporary storage and gasification of LNG, and an underwater and land pipeline for the fuel to reach the national transmission system.

The project is being developed by Copelouzos Group’s Gastrade with the participation of Gaslog Investment, DEPA Commercial, gas grid operator DESFA, and Bulgartransgaz EAD, the paper said.

Another entry spot for natural gas will be the unit that refinery group Motor Oil is preparing at its facilities near Corinth, a 300-million euro ($339.12 million) project nder the name Dioryga Gas.

Earlier in January it was reported that while military and other ties with the United States are tightening, there was discord in Greece over the administration of President Joe Biden no longer backing the EastMed gas pipeline project, favoring Turkey’s position.

Cyprus, Greece and Israel in January 2020 signed the agreement for the Eastern Mediterranean line designed to transfer between 9 and 12 billion cubic metere a year of offshore gas pumped in fields between Israel and Cyprus to Greece, and on to Italy and other southeastern European countries.

THE TURKISH HAND

“We remain committed to physically interconnecting East Med energy to Europe. We are shifting our focus to electricity interconnectors that can support both gas and renewable energy sources,” the US State Department said, reported EURACTIV Greece.

While the statement said that Europe’s energy security is more than ever a question of national security,it added the US is committed to deepen our regional relationships and promote clean energy technologies.”

That is seen as diplomatic boilerplate aimed at trying to appease everyone involved but the move aligns itself with Turkey at the expense of Greece in keeping with American policy of permanent interests, not permanent friends.

The US is now backing projects such as the planned EuroAfrica subsea electricity interconnector from Egypt to Crete and the Greek mainland, and the proposed EuroAsia interconnector to link the Israeli, Cypriot and European electricity grids.

“Such projects would not only connect vital energy markets but would also help prepare the region for the clean energy transition,” the statement added, but the report noted Greek media sees Turkey’s hand in the shift.

“Any project disregarding Turkey, who has the longest coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Turkish Cypriots, who have equal rights over the natural resources of the Island of Cyprus, cannot succeed. We bring this fact once more to the attention of the international community,” Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said earlier.

Greek OPEN TV channel said the US believed that EastMed caused tensions in the regions and wanted a refocus on other projects to try to balance interests between competing powers in America’s favor.

The US is interested in selling its own Liqueified Natural Gas (LNG) and it may not want to sponsor competing pipeline gas, the report said, adding that in October, 2021 a European Commission official told the site that EastMed was a “complex project” needing assessment of the European Union’s decarbonization goals and future gas demand.

“The Commission’s analysis from the climate target impact assessment shows that unabated use of natural gas is not compatible with the long-term decarbonization objective,” the official said.

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