Electricity companies looking for ways out of market impasse


Greece’s entire electricity market is seeking an alternative plan to avoid a short circuit that would bust it, due to the risks created by the plan of former energy minister Panos Skourletis for the opening up of the market.

Already, two significant market players, Elpedison, which is owned by Italy’s Edison and Hellenic Petroleum, and the Mytilineos Group’s Protergia, are examining plans and joint ventures with Public Power Corporation along the lines of PPC’s cooperation with the China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) on the Meliti II power plant project in northern Greece.

Kathimerini has verified information that the two alternative power suppliers have held advanced talks with the PPC administration in that direction. Edison has even requested a meeting with Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis to express its strategic interest in the domestic market and to further discuss the key issues in the market.

Smaller companies in the retail market, on the other hand, are looking to create strength in mergers between themselves, as the unexpected energy sufficiency crisis in natural gas and electricity over the last couple of months highlighted their vulnerability.

Besides the soaring of the system’s marginal price that suppliers pay to buy energy for their customers, the market is also suffering from the impact of the Skourletis law for the opening up of the industry. After assessing the negative impact of splitting the Independent Power Transmission Operator (ADMIE) from PPC, the banks are asking for additional collateral to supply credit to the country’s power giant, which is also wheezing under a huge load of electricity bills that have not been paid by its own customers.

For that reason, the legal teams of the four systemic banks and the competent ministries have been working on a provisional agreement to unlock the credit lines to PPC over the past month.