ECONOMY

Gov’t wants energy investment

It is a strategic mistake for Greece not to have ensured its effective compliance with EU legislation on power industry deregulation, for besides delaying its positive effects, it runs the risk of repercussions from a possible «breakneck» adaptation, Deputy Development Minister Giorgos Salagoudis said yesterday. Speaking at an event of the Southeast Europe Energy Institute (IENE) on «The Deregulation of the Greek Electric Power Energy Market,» he said the government aims to promote healthy competition in power production, with a view to ensuring investment, security in supply, competitive prices and environmental protection. «Delays in the growth of competitive conditions in the industry are against the interests of the consumer, the economy and security in supplies but also have a negative impact on the Public Power Corporation, which, as a partly privatized company, stands to benefit,» Salagoudis said. He added that the government had opted to keep existing legislation (Law 3175/2003) as a basis for managing a deregulated industry, despite the fact that it dealt with issues in a piecemeal fashion. A code for the industry is expected to be ready by the end of June. Salagoudis said a bidding tender for licenses for Power Availability Contracts of up to 900 MW does not involve the construction of new plants – quantities may be imported – and should allow the launching of the system by the fall. Saladoudis said the government has ensured the adequacy of power supplies during the Olympic Games but that the country will experience a serious problem in coming years if new investment is not made soon.