EIB to finance €125m for 826MW gas-fired power plant in Greece

WCN Editorial Team 23 Jul 2020 EUROPE ENERGY & UTILITIES

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide €125m in financing for the construction of the new natural gas-fired 826 MW CCGT Agios Nikolaos power plant in Greece.

Once operational, the power plant will contribute to sufficient power generation while helping in phasing out lignite power generation by 2023.

The natural gas-fired power plant is expected to increase the use of renewable energy resources in Greece. The plant will be located in central Greece alongside an existing power plant and an industrial site.

At present, lignite accounts for 4GW of power generation, which is 22% of total capacity in the country.

The Agios Nikolaos power plant will be owned and operated by Mytilineos, a Greek company with activities in metallurgy, power and gas projects.

The eight-year loan will partly finance the construction and connection of the plant, which is expected to cost €322m. The loan is guaranteed by the European Union under the Investment Plan for Europe.

Mytilineos chairman and CEO Evangelos Mytilineos said: “The importance and vision of the Agios Nikolaos power plant to contribute to a cleaner energy future for Greece has been recognised by EIB’s first-ever loan to Mytilineos. The new long-term EIB loan shows how the EU Bank supports transformational investment in this country.”

In 2019, GE was selected to supply its GE 9HA.02 gas turbine for the power plant. The gas turbine is GE’s largest gas turbine, which claims to have a thermal efficiency of 63% and can help in reducing 25% of emissions compared to a similar lignite-fired power plant.

When operational, the Agios Nikolaos power plant’s carbon emissions are expected to be at 320 gCO2/kWh and it is within the EIB’s emission performance standard of 550 gCO2/kWh.

Hellenic Republic Finance Minister and the European Investment Bank Governor Christos Staikouras said: “The European Investment Bank has unique technical and financial expertise in the energy sector and is a valuable partner to enable Greece to deliver on climate goals and move away from lignite use by 2028.

“We welcome the EIB’s recognition of the importance of supporting the energy transition in Greece and the new support for the Agios Nikolaos facility.”

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A scale model of the Agios Nikolaos power plant in Greece. (Credit: European Investment Bank.)

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