Huge economic, geopolitical and growth benefits for Greece can bring the construction of the pipeline for the transport of Russian natural gas from the Greek-Turkish borders to Central Europe on which focused the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin with visiting Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday in Kremlin.
The outcome of the meeting was firstly to secure the 2 billion euro financing of the project, while the crucial wager afterwards will be the observance of the European legislation for the energy, mostly in terms of competitiveness in order for the Greek pipeline not to face obstacles that last year led to the cancellation of the Russian project for the construction of South Stream pipeline which provided for the distribution of natural gas to Europe via Bulgaria.
South Stream was selected due to the problems created with the deliveries of Russian natural gas via the pipelines that pass through Ukraine which had started in 2009. The main idea was the deviation of Ukraine with the construction of a pipeline from Russian coasts of the Black Sea to Bulgaria and Europe.
However, after the cancellation of South Stream, the Russian President announced in 2014 the construction of the so-called Turkish Stream which instead of the Bulgarian coast it would go the Greek-Turkish borders aiming at continuing via Greece to Europe.
The pipeline from the Greek-Turkish borders will cross Macedonia and will pass through Fyrom, Serbia and will end in Austria. The construction of the pipeline opens a substantial “window of opportunity” for Greece to become a regional natural gas transit hub.
Greece already imports natural gas from Russia via the Greek-Bulgarian pipeline, from Turkey via the Greek-Turkish pipeline and liquified gas from Revythoussa plant. Meanwhile, the construction of TAP (Trans Adriatic pipeline) that will carry natural gas from Azerbaijan via Turkey, Greece and Albania to Italy is propelled while the preparation for the construction of the Greek-Bulgarian pipeline as well as the upgrading works of Revythoussa are at an advanced stage.
Apart from the direct benefits that entails the pipeline investment (GDP increase, new job positions), the Greek economy is expected to have significant benefit from the taxation and other revenues that will accrue from the operation of the works while a number of conditions for the extension of the natural gas networks and the consumers supply to new regions of Greece will be created.
The new pipeline, according to all indications, will have a substantial transport capacity and creates another important supply source to the Greek market that translates into higher supply security and intensification of the competitions which results to lower rates for the natural gas consumers and for the production of electricity.