Greece is in a race to reduce its energy dependence on Russia after Moscow invaded Ukraine, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Tuesday.
Speaking in parliament, Mitsotakis said: “We cannot rule out attempts to blackmail Russia. We are all aware that this…will disrupt global supply and likely trigger a further rise in (energy) prices.
As Greece imported 33% of its gas supply from Russia in January, Athens called on the EU to support member states and businesses against a further rise in energy costs.
Mitsotakis assured parliament, saying his government was prepared for a “worst-case scenario where gas supplies to Russia would be cut off” as its liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage facility at Revythousa near Athens been recently replenished.
“We are strengthening the diversification of our resources. In January, Greece covered 47% of domestic demand with LNG from Revythousa and 20% through the TAP pipeline,” Mitsotakis revealed.
the Trans-Adriatic pipeline (TAP) is part of the Southern Gas Corridor, transporting natural gas to Europe from the Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan. Connected to the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline at the Greek-Turkish border, TAP crosses northern Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea before landing in southern Italy to connect to the Italian natural gas network.
Greece will build a second LNG station to strengthen its energy independence
“Russian gas, which over time represented the largest percentage of the natural gas mix imported by the country, fell to 33% for the first time,” noted the Prime Minister and announced that Greece would build a second LNG station in Alexandroupolis.
The LNG terminal project in Alexandroupoli is close to closing the investment decision. With a budget of 363.7 million euros, the project consists of a floating platform for the reception, temporary storage and gasification of LNG, and a subsea and land pipeline for the fuel to reach the network. national transportation.
Mitsotakis expressed more clearly the need to accelerate Greece’s independence from Russian gas: “In the long term, however, the only answer to the country’s and Europe’s energy security is rapid detachment Russian natural gas, but also hydrocarbons. in general.
“Both for environmental protection and the response to climate change, but – now it’s a no-brainer – as well as for geopolitical reasons.”
The Prime Minister also described the ultimate goal: “The government’s goal is to become an energy self-sufficient and competitive country, using first and foremost the rich wind and solar potential of our country, but at the same time to become a hub of energy interconnection and green transport throughout the south-eastern Mediterranean.
Bulgaria’s nuclear power?
It also emerged that Greece is in talks with Bulgaria on the construction of a new nuclear power plant on Bulgarian territory which will also be used by Greece to cover part of its energy needs.
Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Asen Vassilev announced on Sunday that talks had started to sign a 20-year long-term contract with Greece.
A Bulgarian ministerial delegation visited Athens last week to discuss the project. Romania also plans to build a new nuclear power plant.
The talks between Athens and Sofia come as Greece and the rest of Europe face an energy crisis that many fear is spiraling out of control following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Greece proposed on Monday to set up a European Union fund to provide low-interest loans to help governments finance measures to tackle high energy prices, as ministers EU Energy Ministers discussed preparations for potential energy supply shocks and measures to bolster gas stocks following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. .