Greece has alternative plans that can be implemented immediately if Russia cuts off natural gas supplies, Environment and Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas said Friday at the 7th Economic Forum in Delphi.
Some of the plans include the addition of a new floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility at the Revythoussa terminal off Attica, which will be completed in 6-10 weeks; Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA) is considering one-year lease contracts for a vessel; and Greece plans to store natural gas in Italy, with which the country is linked via the Trans-Adriatic Natural Gas Pipeline (TAP), he said.
The expansion of Revythoussa and the new floating LNG facility in the port of Alexandroupolis will allow full independence from Russian natural gas supplies, he stressed. Although Greece does not wait for the European Union and has subsidized energy bills for a total of 2.5 billion euros (in addition to the additional 800 million euros provided by Public Power Corporation, PPC), Europe still needs to take joint action, he noted.
Regarding the use of lignite-based power plants, the minister said that the strategy to withdraw them from operation has not changed. If necessary and financially viable, the Meliti and Agios Dimitrios 5 plants could remain in service until 2025, with the contribution of other units. As for the new Ptolemaida 5 unit operating on lignite, if it is financially viable, it could remain in operation until 2028, he explained.