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Finance

Greece’s natural gas consumption records increase returning to pre-crisis levels

Domestic natural gas consumption in Greece has recorded an increase compared to last year, as per DESFA’s data, with consumption data for the first quarter signalling the return of the natural gas market to its pre-crisis level, as the impact of the war in Ukraine has begun to recede.

Specifically, according to DESFA’s relevant data for the period of January – March 2024, total natural gas demand decreased by 8.63 per cent, reaching 16.51 Terawatt hours (TWh), from 18.07 TWh in the corresponding period of last year, due to the significant decrease in exports by 94.89 per cent to 0.29 TWh from 5.68 TWh. Exports have decreased in the first quarter of 2024 due to Bulgaria’s increasing gas imports from Turkey. On the contrary, a significant increase was recorded in domestic natural gas consumption by 30.91 per cent, reaching 16.22 TWh from 12.39 TWh in the first quarter of 2023.

In terms of natural gas consumer categories, electricity production units continue to represent the largest part of total consumption, covering 55.49 per cent of domestic demand. Compared to the previous year, demand from electricity production units increased by 29.5 per cent, reaching 9.00 TWh from 6.95 TWh. A significant increase of 237.84 per cent, compared to the first quarter of 2023, was recorded in natural gas consumption by industries and CNG refuelling stations, directly connected to the NNGTS, amounting to 2.5 TWh, which corresponds to almost 15.41 per cent of domestic demand. Consumption from distribution networks in the first quarter of 2024 reached 4.72 TWh, which increased by 0.43 per cent compared to last year, covering 29.10 per cent of total demand.

Regarding the contribution of the remaining entry points during the first quarter of 2024, Sidirokastro covered 43.8 per cent of imports (7.25 TWh), recording a significant increase of 113.86 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2023. LNG continues to play a crucial role in gas imports. The Revithoussa LNG terminal (Agia Triada Entry Point) remained a key gateway for the country, covering about 39 per cent of total imports.

Additionally, in the period January-March 2024, approximately 6.93 TWh were unloaded from 9 tankers compared to approximately 9.51 TWh from 13 tankers in the corresponding period of the previous year. More than 65 per cent of LNG cargoes came from the US, reaching 4.54 TWh, compared to 3.98 TWh in the same period last year. In second place were imports from Russia (1.91 TWh), followed by Algeria (0.48 TWh). The Nea Mesimvria entry point, which, through the TAP pipeline, covered 17.5 per cent of imports (2.90 TWh). Finally, no quantities of natural gas passed through the Kipoi entry point at the Greek-Turkish border.

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