Greece’s role as a regional energy hub at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa continues to take shape as a slew of new projects – from port facilities to pipelines – come online.
These include two new liquefied natural gas facilities, a new gas delivery deal, and three pipelines connecting the Balkans with Europe and production facilities to the east.
In November, Greece inaugurated a new liquefied natural gas storage facility west of Athens, dramatically expanding capacity at the Revithoussa LNG terminal. A first shipment of LNG from Texas – a deal signalling the growing cooperation between Greece and the U.S. on energy security matters – was expected by year end.
The expanded capacity at the Revithoussa LNG terminal, combined with two new gas pipelines, will make Greece the principal entry point for LNG to the Balkans. Two-thirds of the gas being supplied to the terminal is meant for export, according to Greek Environment and Energy Minister George Stathakis. By early 2019, the €4.5 billion Trans Adriatic Pipeline is expected to be completed and will begin bringing Azeri gas to Europe via Greece in 2020. A milestone in the project was reached in November, when the TAP pipeline was successfully connected with the recently inaugurated Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline on the Greek-Turkish border.
Also in November, the European Commission green-lighted the construction of the Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector, a natural gas pipeline that will help supply Bulgaria with gas from both TAP and Revithoussa. Bulgaria has also expressed an interest in taking a stake in a planned LNG facility near the northern Greek city of Alexandroupolis, which is expected to commence operations in 2020. In early 2019, Greece – along with Cyprus, Israel and Italy – is due to sign an agreement for an ambitious 2,000 km long gas pipeline connecting Europe with the eastern Mediterranean, where natural gas reserves have been discovered off the coasts of Egypt, Israel and Cyprus.
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