ECONOMY

Electricity theft, lack of investments threaten power grid, report says

electricity-theft-lack-of-investments-threaten-power-grid-report-says

Electricity theft cost more than 260 million euros a year to consumers and continues to rise, Greece's power distribution agency DEDDIE said in a report on Wednesday.

Based on the report, electricity theft soared from 0.2 pct of distributed electricity power in 2003-2004, to 1.1 pct in 2011-2012 and to 4.2 pct in 2016, quadrupling in five years.

The introduction of stricter controls helped to slightly reduce electricity theft in 2017 (3.9 pct), but it resurged to 4.1 pct in 2018.

This represents an amount of electric power worth 260 million euros.

Investments on the network fell to 148 million euros in 2019, down 75 pct from 2009 (550 million), while material inventories have fallen to critical levels.

The report, presenting the current condition of the operator, showed a picture of disintegration due to a lack of investments, materials and maintenance, which could become a threat to the security of the country's electricity supply.

It is released at a time when the company awaits the drafting of a new business plan by an advisory firm and ahead of a plan for its partial privatization, in search of new capital to be used on network investments.

The Greek government has announced it will sell a 49 pct stake in DEDDIE, with strong minority rights for the investor. The company is curently fully owned by state-controlled power utility PPC.

[ANA-MPA]