Energy sector prior action talks with creditors start today

The bailout agreement’s second review of outstanding energy-sector prior actions begins today with a series of meetings between creditor representatives and local officials representing Greece’s energy ministry, RAE (Regulatory Authority for Energy), DEPA (Public Gas Corporation), PPC (Public Power Corporation) and other energy-sector enterprises.

Today’s meetings will serve as a lead-up to a meeting scheduled for tomorrow between energy minister Panos Skourletis and the creditor representatives. Greek energy-sector officials are confident the review procedures will be completed swifly and successfully.

A meeting that took place in Brussels last week between European Commission officials and the energy minister’s leading aid, Demosthenes Papastamopoulos, accompanied by DEPA’s chief executive Theodoros Kitsakos, appears to have set solid ground for today’s talks.

A gas release obligation – requiring DEPA to double, through its auctions, the amount of natural gas made available to the industrial sector as well as suppliers, at weighted average cost prices, plus operational costs – is believed to be the only pending issue. Greece needs to open up the wholesale gas market to competition. The DEPA auction changes are a basic tool for this bailout requirement.

All other outstanding energy-sector bailout prior actions such as obligations concerning the upcoming NOME auctions, revisions to the renewable energy sector-supporting ETMEAR surcharge, as well as a draft bill for the Target Model – a road map to guide Greece through a series of reforms needed as part of the EU’s wider effort to establish an integrated European energy market – are expected to be quickly settled. The government has already taken action on the work required, concerning certain technical details and time schedules.