During 2020 and despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, the Group retained its strong operational performance in all refineries and completed successfully the full turnaround of the Aspropyrgos refinery in 2H 2020. The turnaround included significant upgrade investments, mostly in the area of environmental improvements, as well as safety enhancements.
The Group also successfully adjusted its operating model for new IMO 2020 marine fuel specs to supply the market with cleaner bunkering fuels. Furthermore, the Group realized significant financial benefits through contango storage trades during 2020, utilizing its storage capacity.
In 2020, the works for the new cast film production line (7 kta) at the Diaxon facilities in Komotini, an €8 million investment, continued.
2020 market conditions were challenging due to the significant drop in demand on the back of COVID-19 mitigation efforts across our geographic footprint. However, our fuels marketing activities managed to successfully navigate both the health and business challenges posed.
Domestic marketing launched its strategic transformation in 2020, aiming to strengthen our position in the fuel and energy market, significantly improve profitability and expand into new fuels and services. A 98-octane grade gasoline product was launched to complete our existing product range. The transformation will also focus on strengthening the value proposition for customers and dealers (e.g., improved quality of service, customer focus), improve the effectiveness and targeting of our customer coverage and expansion into new products and services, including a higher focus on NFR, new revenue streams and opportunities afforded by new fuels.
In terms of international marketing, in 2020 the new fuel terminal in Vassilikos in Cyprus was completed. The completion of the terminal despite challenges posed by COVID-19 has allowed the company to fully relocate its operations from its previous terminal in Larnaca, following the implementation of the local government plan.
In the field of Renewable Energy Sources, during 2020 the Group completed the acquisition of a portfolio of Photovoltaic projects at final permitting stage, in the wider Kozani region, Greece. When completed, the PV project will be the largest RES project in Greece and one of the biggest PV projects in Europe with total installed capacity of 204 MW. Over 1.3 GW of projects, mainly PV and wind, are currently at various stages of development, including the Kozani PV project.
In the next few years, the Group is seeking to complete further projects with an installed capacity of 600 MW in photovoltaic and wind by 2023-2025 and over 2 GW by 2030.
In Hydrocarbon Exploration & Production, the Group continued its exploration program in the relevant blocks, in collaboration with leading companies in the industry such as ExxonMobil, TOTAL and Energean. The Group is currently reviewing its strategic options with regards to its existing Exploration portfolio.
2020 saw the introduction of the Target Model in the Greek market. Elpedison is managing this changing energy landscape as one of the largest independent power producers in Greece, with significant presence in electricity generation, both in the retail market and in natural gas.
During 2020, the corporate transformation of the DEPA Group and the creation of three distinct companies was completed. In addition, the privatization process of two of the aforementioned companies commenced. HELPE is participating in this process as a seller for DEPA Infrastructure, and is evaluating its options for DEPA Commercial. Moreover, HELPE is considering the divestment of DEPA International.
In this context, the Group will seek to further clarify its position in the Natural Gas sector, maximizing the value of its participations and focusing on activities that complement its portfolio.