Athens weighs its LNG and CNG options

Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis met on Wednesday with officials from six leading shipping companies in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector, as he is weighing the possibility of Greece assuming a strategic role in LNG shipping thanks to the opportunities created by the new reserves off Israel and Cyprus and those anticipated in Greece, as well as the general geopolitical developments in the region.

Maniatis called on Greek shippers to contribute toward the safeguarding of the country’s energy supply ahead of a possible crisis in Ukraine by making the most of their ability to quickly find spot loads on the international market.

The meeting also dealt with the possibility of the involvement of Greek shipping in the carriage of compressed natural gas (CNG) in the broader market of the Southeastern Mediterranean.

That would mean the building of CNG ships by Greek companies, which in turn would depend on the securing of a long-term contract with a gas supplier, as such vessels cannot carry any other commodities. Maniatis reportedly told the shippers that the country is able to secure such contracts, but without presenting a ready plan.

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