Power auctions rejected by all players


Two out of the country’s three biggest alternative providers of electricity, Protergia, which belongs to the Mytilineos Group, and Elpedison, jointly controlled by Edison and Hellenic Petroleum, have openly disputed the model for power auctions aimed at reducing Public Power Corporation’s market share. The first auction carried out in accordance with the model was deemed unsatisfactory by all market players.

The two companies’ representatives on Thursday told the Athens Energy Forum, organized by The New York Times and Kathimerini, that the destructive consequences of the power auctions model not only concern PPC but extend to the entire electricity market.

Protergia went a step further, recommending more drastic measures for the opening up of the electricity market – which is among the country’s bailout obligations – such as the sale of PPC power plants.

“This is also an opportunity for PPC to improve its finances,” said Protergia general director Dinos Benrubi, noting that “for the domestic market, a healthy PPC is necessary.”

This was the first time that the market’s alternative providers have publicly expressed their opposition to the power auctions model.

At the same time, PPC chief Manolis Panayiotakis again told the corporation’s employees on Thursday that he disagrees with the power auctions, as well as with the sale of PPC units. He suggested the model of partnerships with private companies as an alternative solution that he said would be more beneficial to PPC, citing as a successful experiment the project of the Meliti II power production unit and the company’s cooperation with the China Machinery Engineering Corporation.

This convergence of views on the power auctions is the result of the impasse created in the market by former energy minister Panos Skourletis’s plan, after two auctions by electricity market operator LAGIE and the consequences of charging power suppliers a levy to plug the gap from the renewable energy source companies’ account, a measure which proved devastating for the electricity providers.