The consolidation plan for Greece’s Public Power Corporation (PPC) was at the centre of talks held in Cairo on Thursday, between Greek Environment and Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis and his American counterpart, United States Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.
The Greek energy minister paid particular attention to both the power production and renewable energy sources sectors, as well as to hydrocarbon exploration and production, hailing the presence of ExxonMobil in the marine areas west of the Greek island of Crete.
The strategic importance of the EastMed pipeline, which is designed to transfer gas from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe via Greece, was also highlighted as important to Europe’s energy security. The need to overcome the current delay in the signature of the intergovernmental agreement for the pipeline – to be signed by Greece, Cyprus, Israel and Italy – was also discussed.
Hatzidakis reiterated the Greek government’s commitment to moving ahead rapidly with energy infrastructure projects of regional interest, with particular emphasis on electricity interconnections and gas infrastructure.
The meeting was also attended by US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Francis R. Fannon, who will lead the US delegation at the trilateral meeting of the energy ministers of Greece, Cyprus and Israel on August 7.
The ministers considered the structure and organisation of the forum, while all countries reaffirmed their commitment to assessing the possible upgrading of the forum to the first international organisation of the southeastern Mediterranean.
Ministers also decided to set up a consultation committee with the gas industry to involve state and private companies operating in the countries participating in the forum.
Furthermore, the European Commission announced that it will support the forum’s activities with significant financial assistance, while ministers also approved the first study to be conducted on behalf of EMGF in cooperation with the World Bank, to study the potential of the region’s natural gas reserves and optimal exploitation and export scenarios.
Hatzidakis is in Cairo for the second ministerial meeting of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), with the participation of the energy ministers of Cyprus. Georgios Lakkotrypis, of Israel, Yulav Stainic, of Palestine, Mohamed Mustafa, of Egypt, Tarek El-Molla, of Jordan, Hala Adel Zawati, and Italy’s State Secretary for Economic Development Andrea Cioffi.