RAE approves 10-year development plan for natural gas

(Article by Dr. Maria Ioannou, Senior Associate and Sofia Getimi, Associate, published in the Energy & Natural Resources Newsletter of the ILO on June 6, 2022)

On 9 February 2022, the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) published its approval of the National Natural Gas System’s (NNGS’s) development plan for the period 2021-2030.(1)

Development plan

The development plan includes:

  • projects that are scheduled to begin within the aforementioned 10-year period; and
  • planned projects, the construction of which has not been yet completed.

The development plan covers information about:

  • construction methods;
  • estimated budgets;
  • time schedules for implementation; and
  • methods of financing of the relevant investments.

Moreover, the development plan separately references projects that are scheduled to commence within the next three years.

The development plan was listed for public consultation from 14 July 2020 to 4 August 2020. The final proposal was submitted to the RAE for approval, taking into account the results of the public consultation. The Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator has included projects of a total investment of around €540 million in the development plan.

New projects
The development plan has a strongly developmental character. The proposed new projects concern:

  • NNGS expansion projects in new areas;
  • projects aiming to increase the capacity and security of supply of the NNGS; and
  • development projects aiming to improve, modernise and maintain the NNGS.

More specifically, the development plan entails an extension of the NNGS to Western Macedonia and Patras, as well as the creation of new outlets in the Peloponnese in order to serve the new distribution networks in the cities of Corinth, Tripoli and Megalopolis.

The new high-pressure pipeline in West Macedonia is one of the development plan’s largest development projects, aiming to supply natural gas to new areas and ensure access to new users. The pipeline will start from the existing line valve station at Trikala Imathias and will have a length of about 130 kilometres. The budget of the project is estimated at €110 million. A further benefit of the project is the connection of the NNGS with an area where the production of hydrogen is planned (the White Dragon project), which in turn will initiate actions for the future adaptation of the NNGS to carry hydrogen (first as blend with natural gas).

The project to construct the new high-pressure pipeline to Patras and its industrial area has an estimated budget of €85 million. The preliminary design of the project consists of a 140-kilometre high-pressure pipeline, which will end up at Megalopolis and include two metering and regulating stations. Future extensions of the pipeline are also possible to extend the supply to other cities of that region, such as Pyrgos and Agrinio.

The new projects in Western Macedonia and Patras are expected to be completed by the end of 2023 and 2025, respectively and to provide further economic benefits to the local communities.

Download:RAE approves 10-year development plan for natural gas.pdf

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