From the stage of the 6th AIF, the CEO of DEPA Emporia, Konstantinos Xifaras, referred to the decisive factors that allow Europe today not to face energy supply problems, but also to the interventions required in the basic market in order to keep prices at affordable levels.
Speaking about the EU’s energy sufficiency process, Mr. Xifaras underlined that this time Europe was well prepared with “keys, beyond consumption reduction, diversification of supply sources and closer interconnection and cooperation between countries – members of the Union”. At the same time, LNG has largely replaced pipeline gas supplies from Russia.
As the CEO of DEPA Emporia pointed out, the company had already incorporated these aspirations into its strategy. “Our company is constantly strengthening its operational extroversion, investing at the same time in the development of new infrastructures and in the optimal utilization of existing ones, contributing to the security of supply of the markets of N.A. Europe. Our cooperation with neighboring countries is decisive and mutually beneficial. In recent years, we have doubled the quantities we export, leveraging our diversified natural gas supply portfolio, which combines long-term contracts and targeted LNG spot cargo purchases. “DEPA, in addition to the Greek market, in which it has a dominant position, is also active in a number of foreign markets – Bulgaria, Romania, Italy, Moldova, Serbia,” he said.
Asked about the possibility of natural gas prices rising again, Mr. Xifaras clarified that interventions are required in the basic market (TTF), in the direction that the Prime Minister has proposed to the Commission as early as March 2022, adding that in the medium term it will be necessary a better balance between long-term supply contracts and the opportunistic cargo market, as DEPA does, more bilateral PPAs contracts for large customers, widening and deepening the natural gas market and framing it with risk hedging tools.
Regarding electricity prices, the managing director of DEPA Emporia noted that “in the electricity markets we are constantly faced with the effects of the Target Model – the architecture of the market, at the European level” which means that the price on of substance is determined by the more expensive, older natural gas plants “Natural gas thermal plants will be an integral part of our energy mix for several decades to come, due to the volatility of renewables and the slow development of storage technologies. So we have to ensure that they work effectively. On the one hand, replacing the old ones with new, more modern and efficient ones, such as the one being developed by DEPA (together with PPC and Damco) in Alexandroupolis. On the other hand, with interventions in the market so that their operation does not take place at the expense of households and businesses”, he emphasized, adding that “the future undoubtedly belongs to RES and for this DEPA has launched important projects”.
DEPA Emporia’s investments in RES and new technologies
Renewable energy projects and new technologies were also mentioned in the context of the 6th AIF by Dimitris Tamvakis, Project Manager of projects at DEPA Emporias, talking about DEPA’s “green” portfolio in photovoltaic parks with the aim of breaking the 1 GW barrier. “North Solar 1 has been added to our subsidiaries North Solar and New Spes Concept, at the same time, discussions on the financing of the projects managed by the new subsidiary are at an advanced stage and the tender for their construction is expected soon, while the remaining RES projects are also in an advanced stage of ripening’.
“The new technologies give us much more energy possibilities and that is why we are studying projects that combine RES, hydrogen and storage, projects for which we are in collaboration with research institutions. The bridges with the energy future are being built today and sustainability requires the utilization of every available innovation” underlined Mr. Tamvakis.
Even the natural gas infrastructure projects supported by DEPA Emporias such as FSRU, IGB remain oriented towards new technologies. “These projects, the TAP, IGB and EastMed pipelines, and the floating LNG terminal in Alexandroupoli (FSRU) do not have an end date,” he said, adding that “they are projects that will shape tomorrow’s energy landscape as they are designed to be able to be used in the future also for clean forms of energy, such as hydrogen and biomethane”.
He specifically referred to biomethane, which DEPA Emporias is already introducing into gas transportation “with the implementation of a pilot project for the production of biomethane, which will then be channeled into the CNG FISIKON network of stations” while he added that “hydrogen will also be of increasing importance in the future energy mix of Europe.
That’s why DEPA Emporias not only closely monitors the developments in the specific sector, but also puts its own stamp on the European plans that are expected to directly affect our country in the coming years.”
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