Electricity grid deficiencies exposed by cold weather around Greece in recent days have prompted the energy ministry to call for an adjustment of a distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO investment plan being prepared by the operator’s new administration.
Ageing infrastructure accentuated by a lack of investments needed for upgrades required a major mobilization effort for approximately 3,000 low-voltage network repairs.
Over 200 teams of technical experts backed by 30 associated companies with crews totaling some 1,000 persons needed to be deployed to combat the network’s problems.
Energy minister Costis Hatzidakis was obliged to offer his gratitude in a public statement but the urgent need for a network upgrade remains.
The ministry now wants increased investments for the network’s maintenance. The prospective arrival of a strategic partner at DEDDIE/HEDNO, a power utility PPC subsidiary headed for a privatization procedure offering a 49 percent stake, will be crucial in the effort to upgrade the network.
However, the financial support of a new strategic partner is not expected to come through until 2021 or 2022, even if the distribution network operator’s privatization is completed by mid-2020.
Over the past five years, distribution network investments made by the operator have fallen by approximately 40 percent, shrinking to 155.5 million euros in 2018 from 257 million euros in 2014.