Elec­tric­ity com­pa­nies look­ing for ways out of mar­ket im­passe

Kathimerini English - - Focus - CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

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 cus- tomers, 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.

Septem­ber’s agree­ment be­tween PPC and CMEC serves as a co­op­er­a­tion model for al­ter­na­tive power sup­pli­ers in Greece to en­ter joint ven­tures with PPC in the com­ing months, ac­cord­ing to sources.

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