Greek Energy Minister asks for further compensation over TAP and IBG pipelines

Accelerating procedures for implementation of the TAP and IGB natural gas pipeline projects was the topic of discussions during a meeting on Wednesday between Environment and Energy Minister Panos Skourletis with Amos Hochstein, US special envoy and coordinator for international energy relations with Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova.

During the meeting, Skourletis proposed improving the terms of TAP through Greece both for the state and local societies, while regarding the Greek-Bulgarian pipeline project IGB a new meeting at ministerial level, will be held next week in Sofia. The Greek side raised compensation issues for forest areas and state property and more action by the consortium in the field of corporate social responsibility.

Amos Hochstein said there was significant progress regarding the Greek-Bulgarian pipeline and urged the Greek government and TAP to openly discuss pending issues and to find solutions the soonest possible. “The US wants to continue working with Greece for the country’s energy security but mostly on the role to be played by Greece as a strategic partner in the region.”

By Anastassios Adamopoulos – Oct 14, 2015,

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Hellas Gold takes action against ex-minister Skourletis

Hellas Gold and four unions representing workers at the Halkidiki mines it manages on behalf of Canadian giant Eldorado took legal action on Friday against the recent ministerial decision that led to the suspension of work at the sites.

Hellas Gold argues in the complaint filed at the Council of State that the decision taken on August 19 by then energy minister Panos Skourletis (photo) to suspend the technical study for the mines’ processing plant went against the Greek Constitution.

The company says the Greek government’s decision to put the project on ice violated the principles of good administration and the separation of the judicial and executive powers.

The firm and the unions, which represent some 2,000 miners, argue that Skourletis’s decision should be suspended, allowing work at the Skouries and Olympiada sites to continue.

BUSINESS 28.08.2015 ,

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Hydrocarbon tenders losing steam as political uncertainty escalates

The drive for the utilization of domestic hydrocarbons has been dropped from the political agenda following the announcement of early elections, despite pressure from the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company (EDEYA).

The tender for 20 plots in the Ionian Sea and Crete – despite current low petrol prices – managed to attract bids for three plots and interest from a large multinational, rumored to be France’s Total. The company, together with Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), submitted two bids for two different sites, while ELPE is bidding independently on another. The three bids were submitted on July 14 but the process was not activated.

To have done so, former energy minister Panos Skourletis – who succeeded Panayiotis Lafazanis on July 20 – should have either established a special commission or launched proceedings in EDEYA, established for the recovery of domestic hydrocarbons.

The process, moreover, is not expected to pick up any time soon as the country heads to new elections.
CHRYSSA LIAGGOU 30.08.2015 –

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Chalkidiki miners meet with local authorities to discuss suspension of Mine Development

Miners in Chalkidiki, northern Greece, met with authorities from the municipality of Arnaia on Wednesday to discuss the Greek government’s decision to suspend Hellas Gold’s development of a gold mine in Skouries and Olympias.

Prior to and during the meeting, some miners had taken over the municipality building in a symbolic gesture of protest and were planning to evacuate it later in the day. According to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, the miners laid out their demands to the authorities who replied that these will be discussed in the region’s next council meeting.

Meanwhile, the miners that had enclosed themselves in the Skouries mine in protest of the government’s actions remain there.

Energy Minister Open to Dialogue

Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panos Skourletis told mining company Hellas Gold on Wednesday that the two sides can start a dialog if it immediately abides by its obligation to continue the operations that have not been explicitly halted by the Ministry.

In a letter sent to the company, Skourletis also urged the company to allow employees to return to their jobs. The Greek Minister explained that he distinguishes the revocation of the approval of Hellas Gold’s technical studies on the subprojects in Skouries and (partly) in Olympias from the overall project.

By Anastassios Adamopoulos –
Aug 26, 2015-

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Greek Energy Minister Rules Out Privatization of Independent Power Transmission Operator

Greek Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panos ruled out the privatization of Greece’s Independent Power Transmission Operator (ADMIE) and stressed that the company will remain under state control, ensuring equal access to all energy producers.

Negotiations between Skourletis’ Ministry and Greece’s creditors’ representatives are due to begin on Wednesday and mainly focus on ADMIE’s privatization and other energy market issues.

Based on the Euro Summit decision, ADMIE must either be privatized or alternative measures must be found that have an equivalent result for competition.

In statements after meeting with the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) leadership, Skourletis said developments are leading to elections within the year, once an agreement with Greece’s European partners is signed. He also denied the existence of a “Drachma Plan” within the government, at least on a collective policy level.

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