Expected gas cost hike attacked by industrial association

EVIKEN, the Association of Industrial Energy Consumers, has warned that the repercussions of a plan to sharply increase the cost of gas distribution will prove catastrophic for both the country’s natural gas market and industrial competitiveness, in a letter addressed to the Ministry of Environment, Energy & Climate Change, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, as well as the Prime Minister’s office.

Industrialists reacted earlier in the week, contending that industry cannot take on additional energy costs as part of a wider agreement being worked out to compensate the country’s three existing gas supply companies (EPA) – operating in the wider Athens region, Thessaloniki, and Thessalia, in the mid-northeast – in exchange for the loss of their exclusive regional monopolies as suppliers.

The draft bill being prepared to liberalize Greece’s gas market will take one step forward and many steps back, EVIKEN noted, while highlighting that its details would defeat the purpose of opening up the market to competition and severely undermine large-scale industrial companies.

The EVIKEN letter condemned the planned distribution cost increase, expected to be quadrupled to four euros per MWh, which it said would be introduced without anything in return.

EVIKEN also noted that no other industrial consumers in the EU were being charged price levels of eight euros per MWh for gas transmission.

The association said the increase will apply to all industrial companies, adding that it eliminates gains achieved at political level for lower Gazprom prices.

EVIKEN highlighted that the distribution cost increase, to help cover the compensation package for the loss of regional monopolies “does not take into account the damage to industrial competitiveness.”