The role of liquefied natural gas in the stable and sustainable connection between mainland and island areas and the coverage of the energy needs of Greece was presented in the meeting: Archipelago and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG): Stable and sustainable connection between mainland and island areas – the case of South Aegean area, held on 17 June on the initiative of CERTH, under the auspices of the Technical Chamber of Greece and DEPA’s support.
The meeting was held in the framework of the European program ‘Archipelago – LNG’ which aims at promoting the use of Liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine vehicles fuel in the passenger and shipping sectors of the Greek islands in order to reduce supply costs of heavy oil and its environmental impact.
The infrastructures and the strategies which have led to the increasing penetration of natural gas in all sectors (gas- driven vehicles, commercial sector, industrial sector and households) were presented at the meeting and the special prospects of LNG for the Greek seas were analyzed. DEPA’s CEO, Mr. S. Paleoyiannis, referred to the necessity of using natural gas in shipping for financial and environmental reasons. As he said «we are going to an economy that imposes lower carbon levels while the markets are deregulated and the conditions become more complex. Projects must be justified and implemented under the terms of the market, which are translated into competitiveness in fuels and changes in technology. International forecasts talk about some thousands of ships using natural gas as a fuel up to 2020 (perhaps a bit later) and DEPA is a pioneer in this direction once again undertaking a significant developmental role and preparing the next generation of investments. Its business plan applies a local and regional strategy. The regional strategy is related to SE Europe growth with international co-operations and the local strategy is related to domestic infrastructure projects through partnerships (Shell, ENI κλπ) and we are planning the connection of remote islands with natural gas through LNG or CNG use (Western Greece, islands).»
The Director of Strategic and Corporate Development of DEPA, Mr. Polyhroniou, referred to DEPA’s developmental program with infrastructures which are planned and are under way, while he also underlined the prospects of development of LNG both for traditional uses and Greek shipping. As he said the use of LNG is increasing on a global scale, favoured by the increase in the supply through additional LNG exports from Australia and the USA (which is now the first country in natural gas production worldwide) and the dropping trend of the prices in the spot market. LNG use is also expected to significantly increase in Greece and the wider area with the infrastructure works in Greece becoming a significantly empowering factor, offering a preferential market (and diversified energy source) to SE European countries which greatly depend on one basic supplier (Russia). Greece-Bulgaria interconnector is expected to be available in the next 2-3 years while plans of big (Terminal Station of Northern Greece) and small scale are planned to cover all activities that LNG or CNG can be used.