By Harry Floudopoulos
New data on the map of the electricity market are created by the large investments in the field of electricity and gas that have been launched, implemented or even completed by the major players in the industry. In total, in the next few years, 4 new factories are expected to be added to the Greek electricity production system, three of which are natural gas and one of which is lignite. At the same time in the gas sector, the investments that have been launched are expected to create 4 new LNG terminals, transforming the Greek market into an import hub for liquefied natural gas for the wider region of Southeastern Europe.
But what are these investments?
The most mature investment, which has already been completed and is expected to join the system in the near future, is the new CCGT unit of Mytilineos, whose so-called hot commissioning has already begun. The new 826MW power unit was built in Agios Nikolaos, Boeotia and includes the most modern and efficient gas turbine in Europe 9HA.02 by General Electric with an efficiency of 63.5%. The new unit is expected to operate as a base unit and will replace much of the lignite power that will be withdrawn as part of the de-lignification. At the same time, the environmental benefit will be important as the new unit will produce 250 kg of CO2 per megawatt hour produced when today lignite plants produce from 1.2 to 1.5 tons of CO2 per megawatt hour produced, ie 6 times more. The investment amounted to 350m euros.
GEK TERNA MOI
The second natural gas electricity plant is being built by the joint venture of GEK TERNA with Motor Oil Hellas with a capacity of 877MW in the Komotini Industrial Zone, with an investment of 375 million euros. The two groups participate with an equal percentage of 50% in the company Thermoelectricia of Komotini, which has undertaken the construction and operation of the new unit. The goal is for the unit to be put into commercial operation at the beginning of 2024. With this new unit, the thermal portfolio of GEK TERNA is expected to increase to 1.5GW, while both groups, as they have a presence in the supply market, will enhance verticalization. their. Finally, the increased gas needs of the new unit will help achieve economies of scale for LNG supply.
The project of creating an 860MW natural gas unit of Elpedison for the area of Thessaloniki is also in the development stage. The final investment decision for the construction of the factory, for the project of 450-500 million euros is expected to be taken in the summer, however in the area where the unit is to be built, the preliminary works have started. The CCGT marks the company’s decision to play a central role in the transition energy era with executives estimating that gas and coal, after the Ukraine war, will continue to be the dominant fuel for the operation of the base units.
Apart from the private groups, PPC also has ambitious investment plans for the gas electricity generation sector. Specifically, the company is proceeding with the completion of the Ptolemaida 5 unit, which was built with lignite fuel and which is expected to start operating at the end of the summer. At the same time, the company has at its disposal another project, for the creation of a 665 MW power unit in the Komotini Industrial Zone, with a maximum efficiency of 63% and with a scheduled start of operation in December 2024.
In the field of natural gas, the most mature project is the work of the FSRU of Alexandroupolis, where the terminal is expected to be installed in the port in November 2023. In the work of the floating receiving terminal, temporary storage and liquefied natural gas gas (LNG) developed by the company Gastrade in the area of Alexandroupolis participate the Kopelouzos group, the company Gaslog, DEPA, DESFA and Bulgartransgaz. The project is considered crucial as it enhances security of supply, diversifies sources and routes of energy supply, enhances competition and supports the establishment of a Gas Transaction Hub in the wider region of Southeastern Europe.
At the same time, the company has announced its intention to develop a second liquefied natural gas station in Alexandroupolis, with the possibility of importing 5.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year. The creation of a second terminal will double the capacity, to 11 billion. cubic meters with the aim of this purely export terminal extending gas exports even further north, reaching as far as Ukraine.
In addition to the power generation unit, the MOH group also plans to build a floating storage and regasification unit, FSRU (Floating Storage and Regasification Unit). DIORYGA GAS SA It is considered a strategic project that will serve the immediate needs for gas supply, and at the same time will integrate the possibility of receiving renewable fuels of the future, such as hydrogen. The market test for the project will take place in the two months of May-June while an investment decision is expected to be taken at the beginning of the 4th quarter.
Another important project for the creation of a new floating storage and gasification unit of liquefied natural gas (FSRU) is planned in Thessaloniki by Elpedison. The project “Thessaloniki FSRU”, will be developed in the Thermaic Gulf, off Thessaloniki and is expected to operate within 2025. The FSRU will have a storage capacity of 170,000 sq.m. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and will be able to deliver up to 20 million cubic meters. gas per day. The project will also include a system of onshore and underwater pipelines that will connect the FSRU with the ELPEDISON power plants in Thessaloniki (one existing and one under design), as well as the existing pipelines of the NSRF in the area.