DEPA gas sales drop 11.5% in 2018 amid greater competition

Gas utility DEPA’s sales in 2018 fell 11.5 percent, to 37.8 million MWh, compared to the previous year, highlighting the growing competition in this liberalized sector.

Besides the intensified competition, DEPA also attributed the result to slightly weakened gas demand in the Greek market.

Total turnover for DEPA dropped to 996 million euros in 2018 from 1.08 billion euros in 2017, an 8.4 decline prompted by lower natural gas sales.

Gas auctions DEPA has been obligated to stage since 2016 have also played a key role in fueling competition and reducing the utility’s market share.

DEPA auctioned off a gas quantity of 7.2 million MWh in 2018, up 22 percent compared to a year earlier.

The gas utility’s share of Greece’s overall natural gas imports, and, by extension, the wholesale gas market, dropped further in 2018 as a result of a significant increase in pipeline gas and spot-market LNG imports made by competitors.

DEPA’s soon-to-be-appointed new administration expects sales to drop further in 2019 to a level of approximately 29 million MWh, primarily as a result of favorable conditions in international LNG markets. Current conditions are prompting greater spot-market LNG orders to Greece by electricity producers and independent suppliers.