‘Disruption management’ plan near, minister tells Parliament

The country’s “disruption management” plan, intended to enable energy cost savings for major-scale industry in exchange for shifting energy usage to off-peak hours whenever required by IPTO, the power grid operator, will soon be signed and delivered, energy minister Panos Skourletis told Greek Parliament yesterday. He did not elaborate on details concerning its schedule and content.

The minister was responding to a question raised by a main opposition conservative New Democracy party MP on whether the “disruption management” plan would provide sufficient support to the industrial sector for needed energy cost reductions. The industrial sector expects the plan’s support to be worth 180 million euros, but a far lower figure of 60 million euros has not been ruled out.

Skourletis told Greek Parliament he is currently engaged in talks with local industrial sector representatives and aims to deliver a plan that will offer particular support for export-oriented industrial enterprises employing sizeable numbers of workers. Talks with officials at EVIKEN, the Association of Industrial Energy Consumers, have led to common ground on many issues, the energy minister noted, without offering further details.

Meanwhile, the EU Competitiveness Council held an extraordinary meeting yesterday, following a request made by the UK, to discuss unfavorable developments in the steel industry and European industry. Top-ranked Greek officials were absent from the meeting. The country was represented at ambassadorial level.

Officials discussed the need to implement measures that could improve the competitiveness of Europe’s steel industry, currently affected by subdued demand, low commodity prices, increased energy costs, and job losses.

The EU’s steel industry ranks as the world’s second largest, following China, covering 11 percent of global supply. Approximately 500 steel industries operate in the EU, scattered around various member states.