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Economy

Greece Preparing Energy Backup Plan if Russia Stops Gas Supply

ATHENS – Reliant on Russian energy for some 40 percent of supplies, Greece is devising a plan to find other sources if the supply is cut off or European Union sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine affect the resource.

While Greece’s Public Gas Corporation has an agreement with Gazprom but there is worry that Russia will have its state gas company break it after Greece supported penalties that so far exclude Russian oil and gas.

Part of the plan is to expand the capacity of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal on the island of Revythoussa, off the coast of Attica, by permanently tethering an LNG carrier to the island, said Kathimerini.

That would add 100,000 cubic meters to the existing 225,000 of the three tanks on the island that would pump up available reserves of natural gas from less than a month to almost a month and a half.

The Greek company could also negotiate an agreement with Italy to store LNG in its own, vastly more extensive, tank network which could hold up to 500 million cubic meters, the report added.

While the plan is being prepared, the EU barely averted a collapse in its talks on how to deal with the substantial spike in energy prices over the invasion and the damage to global supply routes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Greece wanted a ceiling on electricity prices, pushed by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whose government is subsidizing the cost of fuels to consumers seeing huge price spikes.

But Portugal and Spain, arguing about their relative isolation from European power networks, rejected it and the paper said talks were so contentious that Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was ready to storm out of the room.

Portugal and Spain were exempted, another split in the EU that relies on consensus while EU leaders agreed on extra taxes on power companies huge profits off the crisis, and a deal to keep natural gas reserves was also made.

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