ECONOMY

Crisis hits electricity and fuel demand

Demand for two key energy resources, electricity and petrol, has dropped in the last few months, indicating that the crisis has reached the real economy, industry sources said. Data from the Public Power Corporation (PPC) show that demand has fallen due to the slowing economy, raising concerns that the company may have to revise lower its 2009 growth targets. «Since October, we have noticed a drop in consumption among medium- and high-voltage customers,» a Public Power Corporation source said. «We have observed that a significant number of businesses have limited their consumption to 16 hours from 24 hours and this is because their sales have been limited,» the source added. Regarding the consumption of petrol in the domestic market, data from Hellenic Petroleum, Greece’s largest refinery, show a 1.8 percent drop for the first nine months of the year. Demand in Greece for the January-to-September period reached 9.86 million megatons (MT) versus 9.68 million MT in the same period a year earlier, due to lower sales among industrial and commercial clients. Gas stations owners say that the worsening global financial and credit crisis in October resulted in a 30 percent drop in sales across Greece. Data from refinery Motor Oil confirm the downward trend. In the first eight months of the year, its gas sales fell 2.5 percent.