Greece has alternative plans that can be implemented immediately if Russia halts natural gas supplies, Environment and Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas told the 7th Delphi Economic Forum on Friday.
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) reviews one-year lease agreement for a ship; and Greece is considering storing natural gas in Italy, to 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 enable complete independence from Russian natural gas supplies, he stressed. Although Greece is not waiting for the European Union and has subsidized energy bills totaling 2.5 billion euros (in addition to another 800 million euros provided by Public Power Corporation, PPC), Europe has yet to act together, he noted .
Regarding the use of lignite-fired power plants, the minister said the strategy to phase them out has not changed. If necessary and financially viable, the Meliti and Agios Dimitrios 5 plants could remain operational until 2025, with other entities contributing. As for the new Ptolemaida 5 unit, which will be fueled by lignite, if it is financially viable, it could remain operational until 2028, he explained.