Electricity traders, suppliers to be hit hard by planned 26% tax

The government’s plan to impose a 26 percent withholding tax on transactions carried out by local enterprises with foreign companies is expected to cause serious cashflow problems for electricity suppliers and traders operating in Greece.

Latest figures provided by LAGIE, the Electricity Market Operator, showed that bilateral electricity trading activity is dominated by imports from neighboring Bulgaria.

Although the planned withholding tax will be rebatable after a certain period, which has not been specified, its anticipated delay will surely prove detrimental to the cashflow situations of firms.

PPC, the Public Power Corporation, will be particularly affected by the tax measure. In February alone, the power utility’s electricity imports were valued at 13.39 million euros. LAGIE data showed. During the same month, total electricity trade in Greece reached 50 million euros. Besides PPC, the sector’s other electricity suppliers will need to cover amounts of between 12 million and 13 million euros once the tax measure is implemented.

As for other traders operating in Greece, Slovenian energy company GEN-I imported 4.1 million euros of electricity into the country last month, according to the LAGIE data. Electrade SPA imported 3.339 million euros worth of electricity. GreenEnv imported 3.2 million euros worth of power, Swiss company AXPO’s imported power was valued at 2.7 million euros, Slovenia’s EFT imported 2.4 million euros worth of power, Greek companies Heron and Alpiq Hellas each imported 2.3 million euros of electricity, Protergia imported close to 2 million euros of electricity, while the figure at Elpedison-Edison reached 2.5 million euros. Other trading companies, among the sector’s 28 in total, registered respective figures of a few thousand euros.

The LAGIE data for February showed little change in the local electricity supply market. PPC held a 96.55 share of this market. Of this, 9.41 percent concerned high-voltage supply, 66.25 percent concerned low-voltage supply, and 20.89 percent concerned medium-voltage supply.

Heron, a member of the Terna group, held a 1.18 percent share of electricity supplied in the Greek market, equally divided between the low and medium-voltage categories. Elpedison, owned by ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum), Edison, and the Ellaktor group, held a 0.91 percent share of electricity supply, equally shared by the low and medium-voltage categories.

Protergia, a member of the Mytilineos group, held a 0.36 percent share of electricity supply, two thirds of this in medium-voltage supply, the remainder in low-voltage supply.

As for all other firms, active in the sector but not vertically integrated, as they do not operate independent power stations, Green held a 0.28 percent share of electricity supply, in the low-voltage category; Watt+Volt captured a 0.19 percent share (0.18 percent in low voltage and 0.01 percent in medium voltage); Voltera held a 0.15 percent share, exclusively medium voltage; and NRG captured a 0.12 percent share, equally divided between low and medium voltage.