Russian energy giant Gazprom has been conducting direct sales of natural gas to final consumers in Greece since late December, changing the landscape of the domestic market.
Kathimerini has confirmed that the Mytilineos Group receives quantities directly from the Russian company via the Sidirokastro station in northern Greece, for the partial coverage of its electrical energy production requirements, in the context of the supply contract it has signed with Gazprom.
This is seen as another significant step toward strengthening domestic competition and as evidence of the market’s potential after the lifting of the last few obstacles for the entry of third companies both in wholesale and retail, and its harmonization with the European framework in accordance with the country’s bailout commitments.
The wholesale natural gas market has developed in a monopolistic manner since the outset, with Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) as the exclusive client in Greece of Gazprom, and later of Algerian company Sonatrach (for liquefied natural gas) and Botas (from which it obtains Azeri gas).
DEPA’s exclusive right in Greece to procure gas from Gazprom was abolished for the first time upon the revision of their contract in 2014. In the same year the Competition Commission forced DEPA to concede capacity to third parties at three points of entry to the national gas grid. This has paved the way for the transmission of gas through Sidirokastro, where the Russian gas arrives, and through Kipoi, where Botas makes Azeri deliveries.
After the indirect supply of Prometheus Gas with Russian quantities in 2016, the procurement of Russian gas by Mytilineos constitutes Gazprom’s first step of direct entry to the Greek gas market, practicing its strategy of eliminating the intermediaries it has used abroad since 2011.