Greece’s strategic geo-economic location between major energy producing countries and on the vital transport routes of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas characterizes it as a hub between East and West. The Energy Community of Southeast Europe is expected to invest a total of approximately €30 billion by 2020 in the Electricity and Natural Gas sectors alone.
Greece has recently initiated major ventures in hydrocarbon exploration and gas transportation, developments that represent major opportunities for UK companies.
Efforts for the unbundling of the PPC and the privatisation of DEPA, DESFA and HELPE mean that the structural, regulatory and market barriers are gradually being lifted and the domestic energy market is near reaching its full liberalized potential. New export opportunities for UK companies exist in the areas of technology and equipment, while British consultancy services are also highly regarded in the Greek energy market. Many local developers are interested in working with UK investment funds which have an expertise in energy projects.
In July 2013 the Greek Government announced the successful concessionaires for hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation tenders for 2 of the 3 blocks in Western Greece: Ioannina and the Patraikos Gulf. A decision on the Katakolo block – for which a UK company has bid in joint venture – is still pending. The three blocks currently under tender are expected to yield at least 250 million barrels of oil. A new round of concessions for land blocks throughout the country is to be announced, following the positive results of the seismic surveys recently conducted by PGS.
Natural Gas and the TAP project
The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) was chosen over Nabbucco West, by the BP-led Shah Deniz Consortium, to transport 10 bcm of Azeri gas annually to Europe via Greece, Albania and Italy; this represents an €1.5 billion immediate foreign investment while the cost of infrastructure development will reach $40 bn. This is currently BP’s largest project in the world and opens significant opportunities for UK companies active in oil and gas supply chain. Following the selection of TAP Shah Deniz Consortium members BP, SOCAR and Total are expected to exercise their option to purchase shares in TAP, giving them total ownership of 50%
New opportunities connected to the storage and transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Three major projects for LNG terminals, reaching a total budget of 1.2 billion Euros, have recently been announced. The Greek shipping industry is a leading LNG transportation player. Orders from independent Greek ship owners represent the largest share of new LNG carriers under construction. This fleet expansion will present increased opportunities in shipping services.
Under a wider national privatisation programme the government is selling significant share holdings in their gas distribution and supply network DEPA (State Gas Corporation), DESFA (Greek Gas Transmission System Operator), Hellenic Petroleum and PPC (Public Power Corporation). UK City-based consultants already advise the Greek Government on privatisation issues. They are well placed to expand into business generated by energy privatisation deals.
The government plan, which envisages the creation of a "small PPC" with representative electricity production units to be sold to private investors, is in search of a strategic investor for PPC and the selloff of 40% of the electricity grid networks, has a timetable of completion by 2015.
Greece is beyond target to reach 20/20/20 targets. However, the economic crisis is having a major impact on investment and Greece’s ability to bring new projects on stream.
Sub-sectors of special interest include small wind turbines and offshore wind parks, Geothermal power and bio-fuel.
Getting into the market
Supplies of products and services for major projects are purchased trough tenders; a UK company can bid independently or in a joint venture, preferably with some Greek partners. The UKTI team in Athens can advise on a case-by-case basis, since they are in close contact with government authorities and associations.
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.
Caterina Drossopoulou, British Embassy Athens. Tel: +30 210 7272744 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.
UKTI Greece Webinar – Presentation of major oil & gas projects in the region (19 September 2013) – details will be published soon on our Events pages for Greece or Oil & Gas.
Energy-Photovoltaic International Exhibition
Annual (27-30 September 2013)