Brussels links lignite withdrawal plan with cost recovery bid

European Commission energy authorities have linked the progress of the Greek government’s lignite withdrawal program with a possible approval of a lignite-related cost recovery mechanism sought by state-controlled power utility PPC, controlling the country’s lignite sector.

If Brussels authorities remain dissatisfied with the progress of Greece’s lignite withdrawal plan they will refuse to discuss any implementation of a cost recovery mechanism.

Also, the European Commission is expecting a solution for an end to PPC’s lignite monopoly if it is to endorse a lignite cost recovery mechanism.

Greek officials plan to soon stage a new round of related talks in Brussels.

For the time being, Brussels remains suspicious as to whether the Greek government will be able to pull off its lignite withdrawal schedule and shut down units on time.

The government has announced a plan to withdraw all existing PPC lignite units by 2023.

Brussels would consider the closure of PPC’s Amynteo units this year, as is scheduled, a constructive first step.

PPC’s interest in cost-recovery support for its lignite units, loss-incurring facilities still needed to cover the country’s energy requirements, was first publically discussed by the utility’s chief executive Giorgos Stassis in December, during a presentation of the company’s business plan. Other countries benefit from such support, he noted, without elaborating.