Four regulatory issues on agenda of RAE meeting with lender technocrats

Four pending regulatory issues will stand as key matters – besides crucial details concerning the main power utility PPC’s bailout-required sale of lignite units – when a technical team representing the country’s lenders recommences negotiations in Athens tomorrow, including with RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, ahead of next week’s arrival of lender representatives.

New tariff policy regulations for DESFA, the natural gas grid operator, directly linked to the prospects of a current international tender offering a 66 percent stake of the operator, stand as one of the four regulatory issues to be tackled.

According to sources, an additional two years will most likely end up being added to the time period concerning DESFA’s collection of a recoverable amount for sums from 2006 to 2015.

The most recent in a series of proposals concerning the duration of the collection period, beginning in 2018, had proposed 2030 as the year by which the entire amount would need to be returned to the operator. Now, as a result of the anticipated two-year addition, 2032 appears to be the new choice, which would provide a 14-year period for settlement of the recoverable amount.

DESFA stands to receive 220 million euros. The recoverable sum actually amounts to 320 million euros but 100 million euros of this will be covered through extra revenues generated by DESFA’s overperformance in 2017 and anticipated overperformance in 2018, reducing the figure to 220 million euros.

On another regulatory front, RAE hopes NOME auction term revisions, to apply for the next session, postponed by a week and reset for October 25, will be announced today. If so, the authority may inform the technical officials representing the lenders at tomrrow’s meeting and also provide a wider update on the progress of this measure.

NOME auctions were introduced in Greece a year ago to offer independent suppliers access to PPC’s lower-cost lignite and hydropower sources.

EVIKEN, the Association of Industrial Energy Consumers, has requested the exclusion of high-voltage electricity amounts from the NOME measure, noting that, one year since their introduction, the auctions have failed to make any impact on the high-voltage electricity market, leaving PPC as the sole option for industrial consumers.

The CAT mechanism is another pending regulatory issue. The energy ministry still needs to send a related update on the plan to the European Commision. RAE is working on it.

Also pending is a fourth regulatory issue concerning the gas market’s liberalization and the gas release plan at DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation. RAE’s task is purely perpipheral here.