Independent suppliers making slow gains despite activity

Despite some signs of activity, the main power utility PPC’s rival independent suppliers are making extremely slow progress in their effort to gain retail electricity market ground, which toughens the utility’s task of attaining bailout-required market contraction targets, unconfirmed market data for March suggests.

Expectations that the NOME auctions, introduced last October, would open up the retail electricity market and intensify competition have proven to be overambitious. This will surely prompt more drastic measures, meaning the sale of PPC production units. Whether hydropower stations will be added to PPC’s sale package of carbon-fired units remains to be seen. The country’s lenders are applying growing pressure for such an inclusion.

The unconfirmed market data shows that independent suppliers gained one percentage point in March for a total of 12.5 percent, while PPC controls 87.5 percent, slightly down from 88.6 percent in February. These figures are volume-based.

The data showed that the number of consumers being supplied electricity by independent players grew from 160,000 in January to just below 183,000 in February and March.

A total of 7.4 million power meters operate in Greece, meaning that PPC controls about 7.2 million of these. From a power meters-based perspective, the independent suppliers have captured a mere 2.4 percent of the market.

The major independent suppliers are jostling for the market follower position. Elpedison, holding a slight advantage over Protergia for second place, supplies 56,400 power meters, of which 55,900 are in the low-voltage category and 500 in the medium-voltage category, the unconfirmed data for March showed.

Protergia supplies 56,050 power meters, 55,480 of these in the low-voltage category and 570 in the medium-voltage category.

Watt + Volt is placed third with 30,008 meters, 29,922 in the low-voltage category 86 in the medium-voltage category.

Heron is ranked fourth with 21,570 power meters, 20,840 of these in the low-voltage category and 730 in the medium-voltage category.