Elpedison posts losses, delayed flexibility mechanism cited

ELPE, the Hellenic Petroleum group, may have announced record profit figures yesterday but a closer look at the results does hide one important and unfavorable development, the performance of Elpedison, an associated company in which ELPE holds a 50 percent stake, which incurred losses and presented a reduced energy production level.

Elpedison’s EBITDA registered at €1m in 2Q17, down from six million euros a year earlier, while its EBIT stood at a loss of six million euros. Company officials, in comments offered to analysts, cited the delayed re-establishment of the flexibility remuneration mechanism for gas-fired units as the key reason affecting its electricity division.

This cannot be viewed as an isolated incident as all other independent electricity producers are also being affected by the flexibility remuneration mechanism’s delayed re-establishment.

Market officials have expressed concerns that the transitional mechanism, whose adoption has already been delayed, will take longer to implement. RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, which still appears a long way off from sending its mechanism plan to the European Commission for approval, has contributed to the problem.

According to energypress sources, a public consultation procedure has been planned for the first half of September as a means of examining the views of interested parties. The sources added that RAE will not present a full and  completed plan for its upcoming public consultation procdure.

Despite the obstacles, Elpedison did manage to increase its electricity production in the first quarter, which was enough to deliver a 14 percent overall increase in the first half. Second-quarter electricity production at Elpedison fell to 464,000 MWh from 540,000 MWh.

From a wider perspective, the country’s gas-fired electricity units are contributing to the grid for longer hours, compared to the past, but being deprived of CAT payments, which is affecting their operating profits and sustainability.