Independent suppliers, seeking ambitious gains, prepare plans

An entirely new setting is gradually being developed in Greece’s retail electricity market following subdued movement over a two-month period as a result of main power utility PPC’s 15 percent discount offered to punctual customers last summer.

Market data released yesterday by LAGIE, the Electricity Market Operator, showed that independent suppliers made an impressive gain of nearly two percent over a month, in September, from 10.17 percent to 11.93 percent.

The upcoming NOME auctions, scheduled to to debut on October 25 with 460 MW/h, are expected to provide further momentum to the rise of independent suppliers in the market by creating fairer conditions for competition.

“The auctions will be successful and we will have good results,” a market official, responding to the latest figures, noted yesterday, reflecting the overall mood.

The NOME auctions are intended to provide third parties with access to PPC’s low-cost lignite and hydropower sources as a measure to help break the utility’s market dominance.

On the contrary, independent suppliers have lowered their expectations of any results from a PPC proposal for the establishment and sale of new subsidiaries, noting these business prospects lack interest and potential.

Based on the bailout agreement, PPC needs to reduce its market share to less than 50 percent by the end of 2019, which, in terms of market value, is worth 2.5 billion euros. Competition is expected to intensify as suppliers vie for increased shares.

Officials at Protergia, one of the electricity market’s three vertically integrated independent suppliers, yesterday noted the company will aim for a share of over 10 percent by 2018. Rivals are expected to strive for similar gains over the next two years. Mergers are not out of the question.

The Mytilineos corporate group, Protergia’s parent company, has commissioned the McKinsey consulting firm to help plan its upcoming strategy, it announced yesterday.

The market share held by main power utility PPC slipped to 88.07 percent in September from 89.83 percent in August, according to LAGIE.

As for the independent suppliers, Heron currently leads the pack with a 3.14 percent market share, 0.79 percent of this representing low voltage and 2.35 percent in medium voltage.

Protergia follows with 2.98 percent (0.73 percent low voltage, 2.24 percent in medium voltage and 0.01 percent in high voltage).

Elpedison is next with a 2.52 percent overall market share (1.05 percent low voltage, 1.46 percent medium voltage, and 0.02 percent high voltage).

NRG Trading is ranked fourth among the independent suppliers with a 0.94 percent market share (0.22 percent low voltage and 0.72 percent medium voltage).

Volterra follows with a 0.73 percent share, all in the medium voltage category.

Watt + Volt is next with 0.64 percent (0.55 percent low voltage and 0.1 percent medium voltage).

Green completes the list with 0.52 percent (0.24 percent low voltage and 0.29 percent medium voltage).