Energy Exchange’s creation will require a ‘collective effort’

The prospective Greek Energy Exchange, intended to offer free but regulated trade of energy-related commodities, appears likely to involve contributions from both Hellenic Exchanges SA, the parent company of the Athens Stock Exchange, and LAGIE, the Electricity Market Operator, for its creation, still at an embryonic stage.

Conflicting opinions of the two ministries involved in the venture, the Environment, Energy & Climate Change Ministry, and the Finance Ministry, as to whether LAGIE or Hellenic Exchanges SA will control the Greek Energy Exchange, have already surfaced. The Energy Ministry is endorsing LAGIE for the job, while the Finance Ministry would prefer Hellenic Exchanges SA.

Procedures for the exchange’s establishment, to contribute to Greece’s effort in becoming an energy hub in southeast Europe while also advancing the objective of a fully integrated European energy market, have been slow to start off. Just days ago, the Environment, Energy & Climate Change Minister Yiannis Maniatis commissioned energy sector authorities to prepare legal framework within three months for the new exchange. Once prepared, the framework will be forwarded for public consultation.

“There is some activity concerning what we have named the Energy Exchange, with great delay, to be honest, as many of the tasks we are now starting should have been close to completion,” Konstantinos Botopoulos, president of the Capital Market Committee, admitted in a recent interview. “The Environment, Energy & Climate Change Ministry, exclusively responsible for the venture’s political decisions and legal framework, the Capital Market Committee, the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) – they are willing to help with proposals and become involved in the new enterprise – as well as LAGIE, the present operator, are the basic institutional players. Therefore, this will be a collective effort based on an agreement to fully develop Greece’s energy market. We hope that proceedings accelerate from this point onwards, and that we soon have progress,” he added.

An external consulting firm is likely to be commissioned to prepare a business plan in the lead-up to the establishment of the new company, with LAGIE and Hellenic Exchanges SA as its partners.