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Hellenic Petroleum’s CEO, Gr. Stergioulis opening speech during IENE regional conference, “Oil Refining, Storage and Retail in SE Europe”

G. Stergioulis, Hellenic Petroleum’s CEO, during the opening speech of the two-day conference of IENE, «Oil Refining, Storage and Retail in SE Europe», expressed  his conviction that HELPE Group will be a strong regional energy group in Southeast Europe and the Balkans,  an area of crucial importance,  since they are considered for Europe one of the two entry points to regions that produce energy products. At the same time, he stated that the Group will continue to decisively contribute to the security of the supply chain and the provision of high quality products and services across the entire range of the energy market, in all countries where the Group operates.

Mr. Stergioulis identified the competitiveness of European refiners as the current primary issue for the industry, which suffers greatly because of the high compliance costs to environmental standards set by the EU, costs that competitors in the region, such as Turkey, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, do not bear.  As a result, he said, refineries located in SE Europe experience fierce international competition and their position becomes very vulnerable. “Being on the edge of Europe, the level of our exports amounts to 60% of total production, compared to an average of 15% in European refining , a figure that clearly shows the extra burden faced by some European refineries”, Mr. Stergioulis added.

Hellenic Petroleum’s CEO stressed that tackling the impacts of climate change, and the transition to a low carbon footprint society are two of the most important challenges of the century, noting emphatically that “this course needs to be carried out smoothly and with the least social burden possible”. At the same time, he claimed that greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and the increased costs for carbon emissions will gradually make fossil fuels less competitive.

“In view of the energy transformation which will require huge investments in research, innovation, new production facilities and infrastructure, HELPE Group will continue to play a leading role as a competitive and innovative provider of energy products and services,” said Mr. Stergioulis and added that in this context the Group moves towards investing in two (2) strategic directions: the reactivation of research and production in the Hydrocarbons sector in the Greek territory, as well as the enhancement of the rich local potential  in Renewable Energy Sources.                                                                          

In regards to E&P investments, Hellenic Petroleum:

•    Acts as the administrator of the 50:50 consortium with Edison for the concession granted in the Patraikos Gulf, for which 2-D and 3-D seismic data were successfully acquired last year, and the processing of which is in its final stage.                
•    Has been declared as the “Selected applicant” in two onshore blocks of Western Greece (Arta-Preveza and NW Peloponnese).
•    Has submitted bids for three areas located in the Ionian sea, individually or in consortia with major international companies (Total, Edison).

In regards to Renewable Energy Sources, the Group already: 
•    Promotes electricity generation from RES, with 200 MW active in different stages of development and operation.
•    Successfully participated in the first tender for new P / V stations at the end of 2016 and now proceeds to build 3 P / V parks in Group-owned land, with a total power of 8,6 MW.
•    Implements a P/V installation program in gas stations and facilities of the Group, under the self-generating system (net-metering).
Additionally, in order to investigate the technological developments in regards to energy transformation, Hellenic Petroleum participate in relevant research projects, collaborating with Universities and research communities. The subjects of interest for the Group are: biofuels, renewable energy and alternative drive technologies.
Moreover, the Group is a pioneer in the design and implementation of alternative energy infrastructure in our country.

Specifically, HELPE Group:

•    Installed the first electric vehicle charging points in Greece as early as April 2011 at selected stations.
•    Develops from 2013 to network stations (EKO & BP) available, locations that can supply cars with compressed natural gas, in cooperation with DEPA.
•    Already operates in compliance with Standard Gas, fuel and Energy supply stations, which has other than conventional fuels and all alternatives, i.e. gas, compressed gas, electricity, and sought for hydrogen disposal.

Hellenic Petroleum’s CEO made an extensive reference to the Group’s financial results for 2016, adding that for the second consecutive year, results were very encouraging for the Group Record high performances were achieved in the increase of production to 14,8m MT, in Net Income, with €329m, and in exports, which amounted to more than 8,6m tonnes, marking a 25% increase. All Group activities reported positive results, with Petrochemicals increasing contribution to €100m and Marketing Adjusted EBITDA amounting to €100m, with most of our subsidiaries increasing their share in respective markets. At the same time, strong operating cash flows improved the position of the Group in financial markets, as reaffirmed by the successful issue of the new 5-year, €375m Eurobond, with a 4.875% coupon.

“The future is full of challenge, risk and change. The HELPE Group is powerful and weighs all developments. Please rest assured that we will exploit all presented opportunities”, were the CEO’s closing remarks.