Threat of power cuts looms

Having been operating on emergency reserves for the last few days, the country?s power and natural gas systems are now at a critical point.

Bulgaria has stopped exporting electrical energy for the time being owing to the current cold weather in that country. These exports cover 4 percent of Greece?s demand, and Sofia?s decision is likely to create pressure on the Greek grid, which has been has operating with limited plant availability for the last few months.

The natural gas system is also facing serious problems as Turkey continues to withhold all quantities destined for Greece due to its own requirements, while the Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) is having a hard time finding emergency quantities of natural gas on the spot market to satisfy its needs. Demand registered a new record on Thursday, soaring to 248,000 megawatt hours.

Conditions worsened due to the reported refusal of the natural gas grid operator (DESFA) to issue a permit for Algerian company Sonatrach?s ship to unload the emergency quantities that DEPA had acquired due to an absence of the necessary papers.