BUSINESS

Emergency measures to save energy

CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

TAGS: Energy

Authorities are again on high alert regarding the country’s uninterrupted supply of natural gas and electricity as there is a serious risk that the Revythousa LNG station will run dry in the first five days of February.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) reserves on Revythousa island in the Gulf of Megara, west of Athens, are only expected to suffice until Tuesday, October 31, while Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) is expecting a new load on February 6. The gas firm is pushing for the delivery date to be brought forward by two days, though this is not very likely given that the port in Algiers was closed due to bad weather, resulting in a queue of ships waiting to load their cargos.

The crisis team of the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) met late on Wednesday to discuss the situation. It describes the situation as critical. Emergency measures were brought into force on Wednesday night, with Public Power Corporation’s gas-powered plant at Lavrio and one of Heron’s units switching to diesel; they were joined by PPC’s Komotini unit on Thursday.

Resource management is becoming ever more difficult as PPC has set a limit on the use of hydroelectric plants, its lignite-powered units cannot cover needs – due to age and poor maintenance – while demand is expected to rise today due to the deterioration in the weather.

The Independent Power Transmission Operator (ADMIE) announced on Wednesday that all scheduled maintenance work for electricity production units will be postponed until the end of February so that they will remain available to cover demand.

RAE asked DEPA for information on when the new load from Algeria will arrive at Revythousa, so it can decide when ADMIE will reduce or halt power export and introduce interruptibility measures for energy-intensive industries – whereby plants switch power off when they least require it.

DEPA has been in constant contact with the Algerians to speed up the arrival of the new delivery and has requested that Algerian government-owned Sonatrach increase its February LNG loads to Greece from two to six.

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