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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-12-17

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Shah Deniz consortium signs agreement for TAP natural gas pipeline
  • [02] International conference on genetics, geriatrics, neuroscience on Corfu on April 10-13, 2014
  • [03] Central bank governor: 'Greek economy to start upward trend in 2014'

  • [01] Shah Deniz consortium signs agreement for TAP natural gas pipeline

    ANA-MPA -- A consortium involved in the construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), bringing natural gas from Azerbaijan to Italy through Greece and Albania, announced on Tuesday the signing of the final investment decision (FID) for the Stage 2 development of the Shah Deniz field in the Caspian Sea, offshore Azerbaijan.

    In an announcement, the consortium said the official signing took place Monday in a ceremony in Baku and was witnessed by Azerbaijan's president Ilham Aliyev, who was joined by leaders from nations along the Southern Corridor, the European Commission and other countries.

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras (photo) was forced to abandon plans to attend after safety issues with the prime ministerial aircraft. The trip was cancelled about 15 minutes into the flight to Baku, after problems caused by instrument failure. It was not possible to arrange for other means of transport for the Greek mission to Baku in time for the signing.

    The Greek delegation's visit would have involved the signing of an agreement for the privatisation of the Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA) between the state privatisations agency Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) President Konstantinos Maniatopoulos and the CEO of Azerbaijan's state-owned oil company Socar, Rovnag Abdullayev.

    The consortium said that the decision to start construction "triggers plans to expand the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) through Azerbaijan and Georgia, to construct the Trans Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) across Turkey and to construct the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) across Greece, Albania and into Italy. Together these projects, as well as gas transmission infrastructure to Bulgaria, will create a new Southern Gas Corridor to Europe."

    The total cost of the Shah Deniz Stage 2 and South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) expansion projects will be around $28bn. 16 billion cubic metres per year (bcma) of gas produced from the giant Shah Deniz field will be carried some 3,500 kilometres to provide energy for millions of consumers in Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria and Italy. First gas is targeted for late 2018, with sales to Georgia and Turkey; first deliveries to Europe will follow approximately a year later.

    Today's decision means that gas sales contracts with nine European companies will now come into effect. As a result some 10 bcma of Shah Deniz gas are expected to be delivered for 25 years to customers in Italy, Greece and Bulgaria. In addition, some 6 bcma of Shah Deniz Stage 2 gas will be delivered to consumers in Turkey, the consortium said.

    According to separate sources of information, construction in Greece will begin in 2015, and the gas from Azerbaijan is expected to start transmission in 2019. The consortium has begun the process of compensation to owners of land the pipeline will cross.

    The Greek section of TAP - from Kipi in the Evros prefecture borderland with Turkey and the Dipotamia border area with Albania - will total 550 km and cost about 1.5 billion euros. It is expected to create 2,000 direct and 10,000 indirect job opportunities.

    The European Commission welcomed the final investment decision (FID) on extracting gas from the Shah Deniz II gas field in Azerbaijan.

    According to the European Commission "with this long-awaited decision, it is confirmed that Europe will get 10 billion cubic metres per year starting from 2019. All decisions taken so far - including to choose TAP as the pipeline to bring gas to Europe - were conditional on this final investment decision".

    EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said that the decision by the Shah-Deniz-II-Consortium is a strategic door opener for stronger European energy security and a major milestone for the diversification of energy supplies to the benefit of European consumers and businesses.

    On his part, EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger noted that the pipeline will have the potential to meet up to 20 pct of the EU's gas needs in the long term.

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    [02] International conference on genetics, geriatrics, neuroscience on Corfu on April 10-13, 2014

    ANA-MPA - The latest developments in genetics, geriatrics and neuroscience - three modern and popular scientific fields - will be discussed by foreign and Greek scientists and researchers in the 1st GeNeDis World Conference to take place on the Ionian Sea island of Corfu on April 10-13, 2014.

    The conference will focus on the progress made in the research field, the latest scientific breakthroughs, clinical practice and pharmaceutical applications.

    GeNeDis 2014 will be held under the auspices of the ministry of health supported by the European Commission. The conference organizers are the Ionian University Computer Information Department in cooperation with Open University and the Scienceview NGO, which promotes science communication and closer relations between the scientific community and society, and is the European Union of Science Journalists' Associations (EUSJA) representative in Greece.

    [03] Central bank governor: 'Greek economy to start upward trend in 2014'

    The year 2014 will bring the beginning of an upward trajectory for Greece, Bank of Greece governor George Provopoulos said in an interview to ANA-MPA on Tuesday, noting at the same time the importance of national agreement.

    Asked what a return to growth after six years of recession would mean to the country's economy and to the Greek people, who have shouldered a lot of sacrifices, the governor of Greece's central bank said, "Four years of tough efforts and sacrifices by the Greek people are coming to a close in 2013. There is of course more to be done before our effort is completed, but we are optimistic that 2014 will be the start of an upward trend."

    He added, "We must continue to work hard and we must also refrain from wasting time in fruitless disagreements, but within the framework of a national agreement we can prepare our country's future better, which I for one believe can be very optimistic."

    Also on Tuesday, Provopoulos tabled in parliament the central banks interim report for monetary policy according to which Greece's GDP will grow by 0.5 percent in 2014, while unemployment will fall by one percentage point.

    However, Provopoulos warned of risks and uncertainties due to the polarized political climate, underlining the importance of a stable economic policy focused on structural changes. He also said that fiscal adjustment cannot rely anymore on tax increases and that tax payers should be relieved.

    He also recommended speeding up efforts for restructuring the public sector through shutdowns or mergers of public organizations and businesses, imposing better expenditure control mechanisms for both public entities and social security funds so as to ensure the sustainability of the pension system, the reform and modernization of the judicial system as well as improving tax administration and tax collection mechanisms for combatting tax evasion and establishing a climate of social justice.

    The Bank of Greece governor also stressed the need for speeding up privatisations to boost the business climate and attract foreign investments. Regarding developments in the banking system, Provopoulos noted that following recapitalization, banks will have enhanced credit ability in the medium term.


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