Greece to tap ma­jor pipe­line ben­e­fits

PM says the nat­u­ral gas pro­ject con­sti­tutes the best fi­nan­cial news the coun­try has had in a decade

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The of­fi­cial an­nounce­ment yes­ter­day that the con­sor­tium op­er­at­ing the Shah Deniz II nat­u­ral gas re­serve in Azer­bai­jan had cho­sen the Trans Adri­atic Pipe­line (TAP) has for­mally laid the ground­work for the cre­ation of the South Stream pro­ject that the Euro­pean Union has been dis­cussing for over 10 years. Its sig­nif­i­cance for Greece is mul­ti­ple, as Prime Min­is­ter An­to­nis Sa­ma­ras noted, re­fer­ring to it as one of the big­gest projects ever in South­ern Europe.

The pipe­line that will run across north­ern Greece trans­mit­ting Az­eri gas to Cen­tral Europe will bring for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment of some 1.5 bil­lion eu­ros to this coun­try, and the pre­mier said it is a pro­ject that “sets Greece firmly on the map of gas pipe­lines and en­ergy sup­ply across Europe.” He added that it rep­re­sents a “sig­nif­i­cant vote of con­fi­dence” in Greece and its prospects, and that “the ‘disas­ter sce­nar­ios’ con­cern­ing Greece and for a Grexit will def­i­nitely be ter­mi­nated.”

Sa­ma­ras qual­i­fied the TAP news as “the most sig­nif­i­cant, pos­i­tive eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment con­cern­ing our coun­try within the last 10 years,” and noted that it will en­able Greece “to be­come, be­sides an en­ergy trans­port hub, also an en­ergy pro­ducer and ex­porter.”

A study by the Foun­da­tion for Eco­nomic and In­dus­trial Re­search (IOBE) ex­pects the ben­e­fit to the Greek econ­omy in the next 50 years to come to 17-18 bil­lion eu­ros. The con­struc­tion work, which will start next spring, will cre­ate 8,000-10,000 jobs while the op­er­a­tion of the pipe­line will mean 4,300 jobs for the next 50 years.

What is more im­por­tant, ac­cord­ing to IOBE, is whether Greek com­pa­nies will em­brace TAP and par­tic­i­pate ac­tively in it. The foun­da­tion also ex­pects ma­jor ben­e­fits for the econ­omy of north­ern Greece, as an es­ti­mated 60 per­cent of the gross added value – or 11 bil­lion eu­ros – will ben­e­fit the re­gion.

Deputy En­ergy Min­is­ter Asi­makis Pa­pa­geor­giou re­vealed yes­ter­day that the Host Govern­ment Agree­ment Athens has signed in­cludes an op­tion for a 5 per­cent par­tic­i­pa­tion in the TAP con­sor­tium af­ter the start of its com­mer­cial op­er­a­tion, ex­pected in 2019. He also said Greece will be the first coun­try to re­ceive Az­eri gas via TAP as the Pub­lic Gas Cor­po­ra­tion (DEPA) has asked for an an­nual quan­tity of 1 bil­lion cu­bic me­ters, at a price far lower than what it cur­rently pays Rus­sian firm Gazprom and Az­eri ri­val Botas.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.