The managing director of Helleniq Energy, Andreas Siamisii, raised, among other things, the issue of extraordinary taxation of refineries during a speech at the Delphi forum. As he said, in some years refineries suffered losses of 500 million euros but no one supported them, adding that the refining industry is very cyclical and a large part of the profitability is due to the international refining environment. According to Mr. Siamisii, Helleniq Energy has “50% of the business abroad. Of the billion profits we had in 2022, half is from foreign companies that bring taxes and added value to Greece “.
He pointed out that “the 500 million profits from the activities in Greece still have 500 million in taxes. So we understand the problem of overtaxation, but society must understand that in order to go for the ‘green’ investments that are necessary, it’s got to be a balanced approach.” Moreover, as he said, exceptional taxation makes it difficult to invest in green development, while the fact that the group has implemented important actions to support society since the energy crisis should not not be underestimated.
Regarding the energy crisis, he felt that there will also be relative stability in oil prices in the coming months. However, he added, he sees no reason why there could be substantial changes. “I expect a stable, even slightly upward trend,” he said.
According to the CEO of Helleniq Energy, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to market disruption, however, despite the embargo, Russia has found a way to maintain through other countries the export of raw products and refined, which then obtain a “passport” to be imported into the EU as a different origin.
In natural gas, he said, the price is currently particularly low, due to the mild winter and the adequacy of LNG reserves, however, prices are likely to rise. And this is because the reserves in the hydroelectric dams are low and in the winter the natural gas power plants will have to contribute more to cover the demand.
Regarding the hydrocarbon surveys, he pointed out that all the geophysical surveys have been carried out in the blocks in which the group participates, which is a great operational success because in the last 1.5 years, works have been achieved that had not been achieved in the previous 10 years. . As he said, we are in the phase of evaluating the data obtained from the seismic surveys in the Ionian Sea and Crete. Towards the end of 2024, we will have a better understanding of these in order to be able to decide on exploratory drilling. In 2025, according to the optimistic scenario, exploratory drilling work will continue in potential marine deposits. If they lead to the identification of gas deposits, production could start fairly quickly, he said.
Mr. Siamisiis felt that the full development of electrification is still slow, but there are developments after years. He pointed out that the focus is also on alternative fuels because in the transition period of the next decades we need to improve emissions from motor vehicles. He mentioned that the pilot investment for the production of renewable hydrogen in Elefsina has already been approved, while blue hydrogen with CO2 capture is also considered. In biofuels, we were the first – together with Aegean – to bring SAF (sustainable aviation fuel) fuel to Greece, Mr. Siamisii underlined, adding that the group is aiming for a circular economy, with investments made to process alternative raw materials, such as in the form of used cooking oils, which are expected to increase.
Greek industry has received the messages and is moving dynamically in the right direction, he stressed, adding that for the refining sector the big issue is energy storage and how to “marry” the units traditional bases, such as lignite, with gases.
Finally, regarding Vision 2025 and investments, Mr. Siamisiis said that the secret of success for a company is to understand where the world is going and to change. Through our extensive holistic Vision 2025 program, we have redefined the strategic goals of sustainability and CO2 reduction. These elements have entered the heart of our strategy and have shaped the way we invest, he underlined, while adding that “corporate governance has been an area of great changes. When you want to be a competitive company , you also have to have good governance”. . We have made bold changes in the way the Board of Directors is elected and this is also promoted in the broader corporate culture. We have changed the structure to have flexibility in new activities”.
Mr. Siamisii pointed out that 60% of the group’s investments over the past two years have been directed towards RES projects and green technologies, while more than 0.5 billion euros have been invested in RES. “We have earned the right not to be called purely ‘oil’, but HELLENiQ ENERGY,” he said, adding that “with investments like the Kozani PV, we are accelerating our path to sustainable development. Already , we are working on 2 other projects in Greece, while soon there will be announcements for abroad as well”.