DEPA makes plans for gas grid expansion

DEPA makes plans for gas grid expansion

The steep drop in natural gas consumption by 50% by 2030, provided for in the revised draft of the National Energy and Climate Plan (ESEK), does not overturn DEPA Infrastructure’s plans to expand gas distribution networks.

On the contrary, under new shareholder Italgas, the company is planning for investments of 800 million euros for the 2023-2027 period for the development of networks in existing areas and expansion to new ones on the mainland, with provision for also on five islands, Crete, Lesvos, Chios, Rhodes and Samos, after 2027.

The new investments will impose a significant burden on consumers, since the costs are regulated and recovered through user fees. The programs of the three subsidiaries of DEPA Infrastructure (EDA Thess, EDA Attikis and DEDA) put to public consultation by the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) envisage hikes in network fees paid through natural gas tariffs from 2% up to 31% in the mature markets of Attica, Thessaloniki and Thessaly and up to 56% for some areas in the rest of the country.

The total amount of natural gas transported through DEPA Infrastructure networks, in contrast to national targets to reduce imported fuel by 50% by 2030, is projected to increase by more than 5.5 million megawatt-hours per year by 2027.

The final reason for the approval of the company’s development programs belongs to RAE, with some of the participants in the public consultation pointing out the competent authority’s attention to the effects on consumers and their review based on the intended goals of the ESEK.

As one can see from the analysis of the development programs of the three subsidiaries of DEPA Infrastructure, Italgas appears to see significant scope for the development of the network in new areas of the country and in fact through a forward-looking development program of DEPA. The development program of the company, which has under its management the network throughout the territory, except for Attica, Thessaloniki and Thessaly, foresees investments of the order of €378.28 million euros for 2023-2027, of which €254 million will be spent in the two years 2023-2024.

The company’s natural gas volumes traded are projected to grow from 1,853,455 MWh in September 2022 to 4,761,205 MWh in 2027.

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