Gov’t intends to keep Amynteo unit running beyond limit

The government is planning to make a third attempt for a European Commission operating extension of state-controlled main power utility PPC’s ageing Amynteo power station in the country’s north, now left with approximately just ten days of operating time following heavy usage over the past few months.

The lignite-fired unit, which needs to be withdrawn as a result of EU environmental regulations, is now left with a slight remainder of a 17,500-hour time limit imposed by Brussels.

The Greek government plans to follow up on two previous unsuccessful extension requests with a third effort to include a detailed environmental upgrade plan inviting investors to express interest in developing the revamp.

Government sources told energypress the Amynteo power station upgrade initiatives would be taken immediately following the completion of PPC’s bailout-required disinvestment of other lignite units, now in progress.

At this stage, the government appears determined to sustain the Amynteo facility’s operation into the winter, beyond the remaining time limit.

However, PPC officials with positions of authority in the Florina region, where the Amynteo unit is located, want to avoid taking on any personal responsibilities for such an initiative without any prior personal protection  measures, in writing. Given the market’s competitive environment, overtime operation of the Amynteo unit could prompt legal action.

Besides producing electricity for PPC, the Amynteo facility also covers telethermal needs of locals.