The key to the complete independence of Southeastern Europe from Russian gas are the new gas import and transit infrastructure that is being developed in Greece, according to the announcements of the European Commission.
At the same time, in addition to the projects that are being implemented, the Ministry of Environment and Energy last week issued a positive opinion on the construction of the EastMed pipeline (Cyprus – Greece – Italy) specifying the preliminary environmental requirements of the project.
The Greek-Bulgarian natural gas pipeline, which is expected to be put into operation in the summer, the new liquefied natural gas tank in Revythousa, which is also expected to be operational in the summer, the floating liquefied natural gas tank in Alexandroupolis in 2023 are the first projects and the European Commission in the announcements made last week about the RePower EU program which aims to replace Russian gas and hydrocarbons as a whole, regardless of origin, with further development of renewable sources, diversification of supply sources, strengthening of energy savings.
“Projects of Common Interest (PCI) with a total additional gas capacity of 20 billion cubic meters per year, such as the gas interconnection pipeline between Poland and Lithuania, Poland-Slovakia pipeline, Baltic pipeline between Poland and Denmark, Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) pipeline The LNG terminals in Cyprus (2 bcm / year) and Alexandroupoli in Greece (5 bcm / year) will be operational in 2023. In addition, several gas PCIs are expected to be completed in the coming years, including several storage projects in Southeastern Europe (Greece, Romania, Bulgaria) and the Gdansk LNG in Poland (at least 6 bcm / year). expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor to 20 bcm per year will play an important role in securing gas supply for Southeastern Europe (Greece and Italy in authority) and the Western Balkans “, the Commission said in a statement. These projects, he added, will help Europe and the Balkans become less dependent on Russian supplies, while highlighting the need to speed up work on their completion.
The southern gas corridor ends at the TAP pipeline that crosses northern Greece from Evros to the border with Albania and continues with the submarine section to Italy. TAP has a carrying capacity of 10 billion cubic meters per year with the potential to double to 20 billion.
In relation to the EastMed pipeline, RIS points out in the approval decision that it should:
Seek to maximize the compatibility of the project with the sensitive elements of marine ecosystems.
Avoid design choices that could contribute to the disturbance of the marine environment, including submarine landslides, the disturbance of methane hydrates, etc.
Incorporate in the project design all necessary measures to avoid causing significant degradation – in terms of quality, ecological value, and area – of habitats of Community importance.
Examine the possibility of implementing the alternative (Alt2) in the area that falls under the Natura 2000 network “Foloi Plateau”, according to the opinion of the Management Body of Kotychio – Strofilia and Kyparissia Gulf.
Assess in detail the expected environmental impacts resulting from the project vulnerability to the risks of serious accidents or disasters related to the project, including the geohazards of the marine environment.
According to the decision, the pipeline will have a total capacity of 21 billion cubic meters per year. Consists of:
-The offshore section Cyprus – Crete which includes two pipelines, 690 and 740 km long respectively, of which 400 km are within Greek territory, with a capacity of 11 and 10 billion cubic meters respectively.
-Measurement and compression stations in Crete
-Underwater route from Crete to the Peloponnese.
-The land section of the 48 “pipeline that crosses the Peloponnese from the landing point southeast of Laconia Prefecture to the landing point northwest of Achaia Prefecture, on the south coast of the Gulf of Patras.
-The Megalopolis branch, which is planned to connect the pipeline with the National System in the area of Megalopolis (Perivolia area).
-The submarine part of the pipeline that crosses the Gulf of Patras to the landing site southwest of P.E. Etoloakarnania.
-The land section of the pipeline that crosses Western Greece, from the grounding station to the compression station of the Poseidon project in Florovouni (southwest of Thesprotia).