The European Investment Bank (EIB) signed recently EUR 285 million of loans to support various energy projects in Greece, improving the electricity transmission and interconnection network across the country, while at the same time bolstering environmental-friendly energy security and efficiency.
In the presence of EIB President Werner Hoyer, four finance agreements were signed today in Athens in a public ceremony by the EIB Vice-President responsible for Greece, Jonathan Taylor, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Public Power Corporation S.A. Emmanuel Panagiotakis, Chief Executive Officer of the Greek Independent Power Transmission Operator Ioannis Blanas and Managing Director of the Hellenic National Gas System Operator (DESFA) Konstantinos Xifaras. The ceremony was attended also by Minister of Finance Euclid Tsakalotos, Minister of Economy, Development & Tourism Giorgos Stathakis and Minister of Environment & Energy Panos Skourletis.
On this occasion, EIB President Werner Hoyer stated: “The EIB has supported the Greek economy throughout the crisis and the agreements signed today underpin our strong commitment to the country. The energy sector is a priority for the EIB. Efficient and extensive energy generation systems and distribution grids underpin growth in every sector. The projects will create jobs during construction and after, and will have positive spillover effects in the regional and national environment, economy and living conditions. Modernisation is essential for environmental and climate-related action. We are determined to enhance our cooperation with the Hellenic Republic, other European development finance institutions and private investors in further assisting recovery in Greece”.
The EIB loan agreements signed today comprise:
PPC power projects on Greek islands (tranche B)
The EIB supports the improvement of the electricity network in Greece and the islands with today’s signature of a EUR 110 million loan to the Greek electricity utility Public Power Corporation S.A. (PPC), which is the second tranche of an EIB EUR 190 million loan to implement power projects on Greek islands. The project concerns the installation of fossil fuel fired engines for the electricity production on eighteen Greek islands – not interconnected to the mainland grid – in the North and East Aegean, Dodecanese, Cyclades, and the Diapontia island complex, with associated upgrading of auxiliary infrastructure. The total project generation capacity represents approximately 295MW, consisting tentatively of individual unit sizes ranging from 1MW to 25MW. The Project will secure the supply of electricity on these non-interconnected islands off the Greek mainland. The Project will result in the installation of modern efficient technology leading to relative savings in fuel costs and lower relative emissions of CO2 and other pollutants.
EUR 70 million to improve electricity network (IPTO transmission I, tranche B)
The funding to the Greek Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO or ADMIE) aims at improved electricity transmission and the interconnection of the Cyclades islands to the mainland network. A EUR 70 million contract was signed today, which is the second tranche of an EIB EUR 140 million loan to support the power transmission investment programme of IPTO, covering the period 2012-17. This includes the construction of Megalopoli Extra High Voltage Station, the interconnection of Nea Makri (Attica mainland) to Polypotamos (island of Evia) and a cluster of smaller transmission schemes. The loan is expected to support the integration into the grid of new generation resources, notably the new Megalopolis gas fired power plant in Southern Peloponnese belonging to PPC and already financed by the EIB with a loan (fully disbursed) of EUR 280 million, as well as renewable energy plants, in order to extend the transmission capacity and to contribute to improve the reliability of supply.
EUR 65 million for improved electricity interconnection of Cyclades (IPTO Cyclades interconnection, tranche B)
The EIB signed today a EUR 65 million loan, which is the second tranche of an EIB EUR 130 million loan for the interconnection of the Cyclades islands. The Project concerns the implementation of a subsea cable grid operated at 150 kV that will connect the main Cycladic islands Syros, Tinos, Mykonos and Paros with the mainland interconnected system of Greece. The Project will enable to substitute the local generation of the main Cyclades islands with energy produced by far cheaper and less polluting Combined Cycle Gas Turbines operated in the mainland system and, so doing, will ultimately contribute to place downward pressure on customer bills and to reduce the emission of CO2 and other pollutants.
Revithoussa LNG Terminal extension (tranche B)
The EIB is providing further support for the natural gas system in Greece with a EUR 40 million loan to the Hellenic National Gas System Operator (DESFA) S.A., which is the second tranche of an EIB EUR 80 million loan for the extension of a Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) terminal on the island of Revithoussa in the outer suburbs of Athens. The investment involves the construction of a third storage tank, the upgrade of the marine facilities, the installation of additional cryogenic send-out equipment and the upgrade of the metering system. The upgrade of the Revithoussa terminal will increase gas security of supply, enhance the load and mass balancing of the Greek gas transmission system and increase competition among shippers by giving most of the worldwide LNG fleet the possibility to unload at the Revithoussa terminal. The project is a priority TEN-energy project of common interest and contributes to the European natural gas system flexibility, security of supply and diversification.