ENERGY

Lignite production set to double

Lignite production set to double

Amid soaring prices for electricity due to the small participation of lignite in the fuel mixture, Public Power Corporation (PPC) is reviewing the production capacity of its mines in the context of readiness to face the extreme scenario of a complete suspension of Russian gas imports.

At the same time, the Energy and Environment Ministry is planning to double lignite production and to review its plan for lignite plant withdrawals. In fact, a relevant order has reportedly been given to the mines of Western Macedonia and Megalopoli. 

PPC is expected to submit an annual plan on Tuesday for its lignite mines to the Environment and Energy Ministry.

The government plan to ensure the smooth supply of electricity in Greece entails lignite production as one of its main pillars in case of interruption of gas flows. The plan also includes the conversion of five gas units to oil.

On Monday, and despite the fact that all PPC lignite units should be operating on market terms, the participation of lignite in the fuel mix was just 4% as only Unit 3 of Agios Dimitrios was operating.

In turn the large drop in RES production (8%) was replaced by expensive natural gas, whose participation in the fuel mix was at 59%, raising the wholesale price of electricity to 334.43 euros per megawatt hour.

Kathimerini understands that a meeting was held on Monday at the Maximos Mansion with the participation of Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas and the head of PPC Giorgos Stassis that discussed a proposal for the withdrawal of existing lignite plants to take place in 2025 instead of 2023 as planned by PPC.

However, when asked about this recently, Skrekas stated that even if the government did decide to extend the program beyond 2023, the operation of the units will be judged on market terms.