Brussels evaluating PPC lignite antitrust mechanism

The European Commission is evaluating the performance to date of an antitrust mechanism that was introduced last year to promote competition in Greece’s electricity market by ending power utility PPC’s lignite-sector monopoly through  lignite-generated electricity packages offered to rivals.

Market players have largely remained disinterested in lignite-based electricity packages offered by PPC.

Although Brussels’ inspection of the mechanism is focused on performance and not intended to offer criticism, the procedure will also pinpoint gaps and obstacles and result in revisions to the original plan, sources informed.

It remains unclear if this evaluation process was prompted by the energy crisis’ extraordinary conditions or the mechanism’s failure to produce desired results.

Numerous functional difficulties are believed to have already been identified. Offering these lignite-generated electricity packages on the European Energy Exchange, primarily, as well as the Greek Energy Exchange, despite the fact that these exchanges do not involve the participation of all Greek energy market players, has already been deemed a fundamental mistake as the packages are  intended for Greek electricity suppliers and producers but likelier to be purchased by buyers abroad.

According to the mechanism’s rules, PPC, this year, is required to offer three-month lignite-fired electricity packages amounting to 40 percent of the power utility’s lignite production levels in the corresponding quarters last year.