Fresh rise in natural gas rates in the pipeline

Fresh rise in natural gas rates in the pipeline

Following a 25 percent decline in consumption of natural gas over the last three years in Greece, the Natural Gas Transmission Network Operator (DESFA) is moving ahead with plans to increase its rates.

Insiders at DESFA assure Kathimerini that the company has its recommendation for a gas rate hike ready and is expected to send it to the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) next week. It will provide for an increase in transmission rates by over 30 percent.

The final decision rests with RAE, following public consultation. However, the pricing regulation approved by RAE provides for a specific method of calculating the regulated gas transmission usage revenue, which will make any effort to contain the rate increase particularly difficult.

A hike in transmission rates is certain to incur the wrath of energy-intensive industries that are still trying to digest the hike in distribution levies from 80 cents per megawatt/hour to 4 euros/MWh. Energy-intensive industries already pay 33 percent more for gas than their rivals in the rest of Europe. For household natural gas consumers, the level of that hike will depend on whether the local gas distribution companies absorb part or all of the transmission levy increase.CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

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