EU antitrust chief approves Greek public help for Alexandroupolis LNG terminal

A €166.7 million Greek help measure for the development of a brand new liquid pure gasoline (LNG) terminal in Alexandroupolis, Greece complies with EU state support rules, the bloc’s antitrust chief mentioned, including that the undertaking will contribute to the safety and diversification of power provides in Greece and, extra usually, within the area of Southeast Europe, with out unduly distorting competitors.

“The new LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis will improve gas supply and infrastructure not only in Greece, but in the whole South Eastern European region,” European Commission Executive Vice-President in control of competitors coverage Margrethe Vestager mentioned. “This will contribute to achievement of the EU’s goals in terms of security and diversification of energy supply. The Greek support measure limits the aid to what is necessary to make the project happen and sufficient safeguards will be in place to ensure that potential competition distortions are minimised,” she added.

Greece notified the Commission of its plans to help the development of a brand new LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis, consisting a Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) for the reception, storage and regasification of LNG (complemented by everlasting offshore installations, reminiscent of mooring system and risers), in addition to a system of a sub-sea and an onshore gasoline transmission pipeline which is able to join the FSRU to the National Natural Gas System of Greece (NNGS).

According to the Commission, given its strategic significance for the diversification of pure gasoline provides into the South-Eastern European area, the LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis has been included within the lists of European Project of Common Interest within the power sector, based mostly on the EU TEN-E (Trans-European Network for Energy) rules since 2013.

The terminal is predicted to enhance safety of provide not just for Greece, but additionally for Bulgaria and for the broader South Eastern European area, as it would represent a brand new potential power supply to feed into the interconnector between Greece and Bulgaria (IGB). The Commission authorised public help for the IGB undertaking, which is presently beneath building, beneath EU State support rules in November 2018.

The Greek Authorities have confirmed that the LNG Terminal could be apt to make use of for hydrogen, and that the undertaking would contribute to a cleaner power combine by elevated use of gasoline as an alternative of coal.

The undertaking will likely be financed by the Greek State utilizing European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), notably funds immediately managed and managed by Greece beneath the 2014-2020 Partnership Agreement for the Development, the Commission mentioned, including the help will take the type of a direct grant amounting to €166.7 million. The beneficiary of the help is Gastrade SA, an organization by which the Greek gasoline incumbent (DEPA) and the Bulgarian gasoline Transmission System Operator (Bulgartransgaz EAD) maintain a participation. Gastrade would be the promoter and operator of the brand new terminal.

The Commission assessed the measure beneath EU State support rules, specifically beneath the 2014 Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection and Energy.

The Commission discovered that the help is acceptable and crucial, because the undertaking wouldn’t be carried out with out the general public help. In this context, the Commission took under consideration the inclusion of the undertaking within the checklist of Projects of Common Interest within the power sector. Furthermore, with a purpose to make sure that there is no such thing as a overcompensation, the undertaking promoter will likely be obliged to present again to the State a part of the revenues generated from the terminal, ought to they transcend a set capped stage over the undertaking lifetime. In addition, the National Energy Regulator has put in place sure safeguards to stop a rise out there place of the biggest gasoline operators concerned within the undertaking, reminiscent of a limitation of the share of LNG that may be booked within the terminal by such gamers.

This will make sure that the help is proportionate and restricted to the minimal crucial for triggering the funding and that potential distortions of competitors and commerce are minimised.

On this foundation, the Commission concluded that the measure is according to EU State support rules, as it would additional safety and diversification of power provide, notably within the South-Eastern European area, with out unduly distorting competitors.

The Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) of the brand new terminal will likely be stationed approximately 17.6 kilometers from the city of Alexandroupolis in Northern Greece, at an offshore distance of approximately 10 km from the closest shore. The FSRU could have an general supply capability 5.5 billion cubic meters/bcm per yr. The subsea and onshore sections of the gasoline transmission pipeline, of 24 kilometers and four kilometers respectively, will transmit the gasoline from the floating unit to the Greek pure gasoline community. The connection level of the pipeline would be the Kipi‐Komotini department of the National Natural Gas System of Greece (NNGS), at a brand new entry level from which the pure gasoline from the floating unit will likely be transmitted to the NNGS.


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