ECONOMY

Natural gas use is spreading fast

The use of natural gas by Attica households has exceeded the goals set for this year, the head of the local distribution company said yesterday. Dimitris Zissis, managing director of the Attica Gas Distribution Company, said yesterday that contracts to provide natural gas to 19,580 apartments have been signed this year so far, bringing the total number of apartments that use natural gas as their main energy source to over 60,000. In 2005, the company has set a target of 12,000 new contracts, involving over 41,000 apartments. By September 30, the company’s network extended to 1,976 kilometers and 478 more kilometers are set to be added in 2005. «At least 10 kilometers a week are being added to the streets of one of Europe’s densest urban areas,» Zissis said. Households are not the exclusive users of natural gas. Many hospitals have converted to gas use and the distribution company is targeting schools, aided by European Union subsidies. About a thousand schools are set to be connected to the gas network soon. In the first eight months of 2004, the Attica Gas Distribution Company has invested 20.6 million euros, compared to 5.2 million during the same period in 2003.