ECONOMY

Tender planned for gas storage facility near Kavala

Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis in Tuesday announced state sell-off fund TAIPED’s proclamation of a tender for the creation of a natural gas storage facility at the South Kavala reserve in eastern Macedonia.

Addressing the 19th national energy conference of the Institute of Energy of South East Europe (IENE), Maniatis noted the three-year delay on the issue and added that the ministry has now set matters on course so that the tender can start very soon, adding that this is an investment that can attract international investors.

The storage facility is among the European Union’s priority projects as it is exceptionally important for energy security. It will also constitute one of three possible sources of supply for the pipeline linking the Greek islands of the Aegean with the Baltic countries, which the Greek side expects to start operating by 2017. The other two sources will be the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) and the offshore storage units planned in northern Greece.

The country’s aim is to evolve into a key energy player in the broader region. Besides TAP, which Maniatis says is on schedule, this goal will be realized through the pipeline connecting the reserves of the Eastern Mediterranean with other European markets by way of Cyprus, Crete and mainland Greece, and the EastMed and IGI pipelines, which Maniatis branded as top priority.

Meanwhile Azeri state energy giant Socar announced on Tuesday that its head, Rovnag Abdullayev, met on Monday in Athens with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to discuss issues related to the implementation of TAP and the completion of the process for the sale of a 66 percent stake in Greece’s natural gas transmission network operator (DESFA) to Socar.

The meeting took place a few days after the European Commission announced the start of an in-depth investigation into Socar’s entry in the Greek market.