The conversion of power utility PPC’s oil power plant facilities in Crete’s Atherinolakos location into gas-fueled units appears to be the latest addition to a package of solutions intended to ensure electricity sufficiency on the island as of 2020, when high-polluting units, in their current form, will need to have been withdrawn from the system as part of the EU’s environmental policy.
The Atherinolakos units, offering a 100-MW capacity, were granted lifetime extensions a few days ago by energy minister Giorgos Stathakis, unilaterally, without European Commission approval, for continued operation until a grid interconnection project linking Crete with the Peloponnese is completed.
These PPC units have already been given an extension by the European Commission until the end of this year.
The energy minister’s plan intends to keep the Atherinolakos units running until the Crete-Peloponnese interconnection, Crete’s small-scale link, is completed. A large-scale interconnection linking Crete with Athens is also in the making.
The Atherinolakos units could end up becoming part of a long-term solution for Crete that will depend on LNG shipments to Crete.