Greek gas grid operator DESFA has unveiled plans to construct a $1.12 billion (€1 billion) hydrogen pipeline linking Greece to Bulgaria, forming part of a future European southeastern corridor.
According to the report, the proposal, developed in collaboration with Bulgaria, has successfully cleared the initial technical assessment conducted by the European Commission. This milestone renders the project eligible for inclusion in a European list of projects of common interest, as stated in a presentation released by DESFA.
The ambitious undertaking signifies a significant step forward for Greece, Spain, and Italy, as it positions these Mediterranean nations on equal footing in terms of their potential contributions to hydrogen infrastructure development.
According to DESFA, the proposed 540-kilometer pipeline will be critical to a European corridor capitalizing on abundant solar and wind energy resources. By connecting regions with substantial hydrogen production potential to central Europe and southern Germany, the project aims to meet the anticipated surge in demand by 2030.
In the wake of the conflict in Ukraine and subsequent reductions in Russian gas supplies to Europe, Greece's role as a transit route for gas to Bulgaria and other central European countries has grown in significance.
Many consumers have opted to import liquefied natural gas through Greece's sole LNG terminal located off the coast of Athens. The DESFA presentation revealed that approximately two-thirds of Greece's annual gas consumption of 6.5 billion cubic meters (bcm) is utilized for electricity generation.
While domestic gas consumption experienced a 21.7% year-on-year decline in the first half of this year, gas exports from Greece witnessed a notable 15% increase. Furthermore, Greek imports of Russian pipeline gas plummeted by 46% during the same period, highlighting Greece's evolving role as a key player in European energy dynamics.