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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed interest in purchasing liquified natural gas from Canada while on his first visit to Canada.

While giving an interview in Montreal on CTV’s Question Period the Greek prime minister said that his country was “of course” interested in buying LNG from Canada. 

Mitsotakis’ visit marks the first time a Greek prime minister has travelled to Canada in over 40 years. 

“We are a big entry point for LNG, not just for the Greek market, but also for the Balkans, for Eastern Europe,” said Mitsotakis. “Theoretically, we could even supply Ukraine.”

According to Natural Resources Canada, the country currently has eight LNG projects “in various stages of development” with the first export facility scheduled to begin exporting shipments to Asia in 2025. 

However, shipping LNG to Europe has become a political bone of contention due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the response of many European countries to quit buying Russian oil.

“So in principle, yes, we are very interested in obtaining LNG at competitive prices,” continued Mitsotakis.

“As fast as we go in terms of our renewable penetration, we will still need a reliable source of electricity, and for us, for Greece, we don’t have nuclear, we’re practically, or completely, moving away from coal, so that leaves natural gas for the foreseeable future as a significant source of energy, for the production of electricity.”

Mitsotakis also said that “Canada is a country with which we share so many values,” which makes the country an “absolutely” ideal partner to buy energy from.

“Greece is mapping out a pragmatic transition from using coal to power its economy and wants Canadian LNG to be a part of their lower emission energy mix for the foreseeable future,” Lisa Baiton, the president and CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, told True North. 

“This is another key trading partner that has come to Canada looking for our LNG and we should be leveraging these opportunities for the betterment of the Canadian Economy and to help lower global emissions,” she added.

However, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has shown less interest in supplying LNG exports to Europe in the past, as it disrupts the Liberals’ long-term plan to supply clean energy.

Trudeau shut down interest from German Chancellor Olaf Sholz in August 2022 to significant backlash.  

During German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s trip to Canada last year, Trudeau doubted there was a “worthwhile business case” to export gas to Germany from Canada’s east coast. 

“There are a number of potential projects, including one in Saint John, and some others that are on the books for which there has never been a strong business case because of the distance from the gas fields,” claimed Trudeau.

“We are looking right now — and companies are looking — at whether or not, in the new context, it makes it a worthwhile business case, to make those investments. … It needs to make sense for Germany to be receiving LNG directly from the east coast.”

However, the Mitsotakis’ noted that the purpose of his trip was to discuss business opportunities and let Canada know that Greece is open for business. 

“Greece has been making, I think, a rather impressive comeback economically, we’ve left the crisis behind us,” he said. “And I feel this is a good time to make the case also to the Canadian business community that they should take a good look at Greece and consider deploying capital there.”

It’s a message that workers in the LNG industry are eager to hear. 

“Countries around the world are turning to LNG to lower their emissions and provide reliable and affordable energy to their citizens. Canada has a real opportunity to build an entirely new export industry for liquefied natural gas, bringing jobs, significant Indigenous participation and billions of dollars in investment to Canada,” said Baiton.