Public Power Corp. (PPC) Greece’s biggest power utility, plans to increase coal extraction this year to make sure there are no power shortages in the event Russia halts gas supplies to Greece, two sources told Reuters on Wednesday.
Greece, which covers about 40% of its annual needs with Russian gas, has been looking into scaling up coal-fired capacity along with adding a floating tank at its sole LNG terminal off Athens under a contingency plan.
“The plan was to extract 10 million tonnes of lignite this year and this will be increased to 15 million tonnes,” a PPC official who declined to be named told Reuters.
The additional coal that will be mined will be used to ramp up coal-fired capacity in case Russia halts gas flows and Greece fails to secure alternative gas suppliers, an official at Greece’s energy ministry said.
Once the country’s main indigenous energy source, coal now accounts for a small part of power generation under Greece’s plan to fully wean off the fuel by 2028.
PPC has promised to shut down all but one of its coal-fired plants by 2023 and switch a new, more efficient coal-fired unit due to open later this year to a cleaner fuel by 2025.