Gas-fueled power stations operating at full capacity

The country’s gas-fueled power stations are currently experiencing extremely favorable conditions and covering a considerable proportion of the grid’s needs.

The positive conditions for gas-fueled power stations have been shaped by a number of factors. These include a number of sidelined lignite-fired power stations belonging to main power utility PPC. They are either undergoing maintenance work or are out of order. Examples include a couple of Ptotemaida units in northern Greece, which were damaged by a fire. In addition, two PPC lignite-fired stations in Kardia, one in Amyndeo, and another in Meliti – all are located in the north – are presently sidelined.

The resulting power production decrease is being covered by gas-fueled power stations operated by both privately run producers as well as PPC. All are currently operating at full capacity and, at certain times, even determining the System Marginal Price (SMP).

Based on day-ahead data, today’s average SMP will reach 43.858 euros per MWh. The nightime rate is expected to fall below 30 euros per MWh. During the hours when the rates will be shaped by gas-fueled power stations, the rate will range between 44 euros and 48.5 euros per MWh. The greatest contribution to the grid is expected from PPC’s gas-fueled power station in Komotini, northeastern Greece. During the hours when the SMP is shaped entirely by lignite-fired stations, the maximum rate reaches 42 euros per MWh.

These price levels highlight the reduced gap between the highest-cost lignite-fired stations and lowest-cost gas-fueled stations. The significant drop in the price of natural gas has greatly contributed to this. It has fallen further since the beginning of the year as DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, has incorporated the latest drop in oil prices to its gas prices. Gas prices are tagged to oil prices in Greece and revised every few months.

As for today’s grid schedule, PPC’s gas-fueled power stations in Komotini and Aliveri, as well as all the privately operated gas-fueled units are scheduled to supply the grid. Renewable energy units are programmed to contribute as much as 2004 MW, while imported power supply entering from Greece’s northern border and via Italy will exceed 1,500 MW during peak demand.