Energy sector cash crisis risks supply disruption

Greece?s energy industry needs emergency lending because the country is at risk of supply disruption, according to a report by the energy regulator. Greece should provide at least 350 million euros of emergency loans to the energy distribution companies by the end of the month, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP?s Greek unit said in a report for the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE), according to a summary posted on the regulator?s website.

?All of the players in the electricity market supply chain face significant funding problems,? PwC said in the report?s summary.

?Additional delays in cash flow, however marginal, at any stage of the chain will have a significant impact on the country?s supply.? Some of the emergency loans to the industry, which can be repaid in 2013 through the sale of carbon emission permits, should be channeled toward the Public Gas Corporation (DEPA), according to the report.

?It is a fact that the energy market faces liquidity problems, just like other sectors, which are a result of the more general problems the Greek economy now faces,? Energy Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou said in an e-mailed statement.

The Energy Ministry ?is working closely with the Finance Ministry and is in constant contact with all the responsible energy bodies,? he said. [Bloomberg]