Brussels officials to discuss CAT plan, Crete link on Athens conference visit

European Commission officials scheduled to be Athens later this week for an Athens Conference on European Law and Policy intend to combine the visit with meetings on two crucial matters, Greece’s new CAT mechanism plan and the prospective Crete-Athens grid interconnection.

Christof Schoser, the Brussels official assessing Greece’s CAT mechanism proposal, is expected to meet with energy ministry officials following related talks in Brussels about three weeks ago.

As has been previously reported, the European Commission, in the wake of these talks, forwarded a letter to Greece’s energy ministry seeking clarification on approximately 30 points regarding the CAT mechanism.

Athens is hoping for a swift Brussels approval of the CAT proposal as it is crucial for the prospects of the main power utility PPC’s bailout-required sale of lignite units. The Greek CAT proposal includes remuneration for two lignite-fired power stations, Meliti and Megalopoli, both part of the sale package.

Epistimi Economopoulou, a member of the Directorate-General for Energy’s PCI projects division, will meet with associates of the energy minister Giorgos Stathakis for talks on the troubled Crete-Athens grid interconnection plan.

The project, needed to resolve a Cretan energy sufficiency threat as of 2020, has been delayed by a dispute between Greek authorities and Euroasia Interconnector – a consortium of Cypriot interests heading a wider Greek, Cypriot and Israeli PCI-status interconnection project – for control of the Crete-Athens segment.

In recent days, the European Commission has issued Greek authorities handling the Crete-Athens link’s development a new warning to observe terms set by Brussels and nullify a decision giving Ariadne Interconnection, an IPTO power grid operator-backed special purpose vehicle (SPV) control of the project or risk losing its PCI status.