Industrial group seeking gas distribution hike changes

EVIKEN, the Association of Industrial Energy Consumers, has reacted against the sharp increase in the natural gas distribution fee for the sector, up from 0.8 euros per MWh to 4 euros per MWh, a 500 percent increase, and called for changes in a request to the Standing Committee for Production and Trade.

EVIKEN proposes the establishment of sub-categories and gas distribution fees of 1 euro per MWh for consumption of over 40,000 MWh, 2 euros per MWh for consumption between 10,000 and 40,000 MWh, and 4 euro per MWh for consumption of less than 10,000 MWh.

The industrial association argues the rise is being implemented without any prior research into its market impact or any consideration of industrial consumer profiles. The move also disregards advice offered last November by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, to a pre-Syriza coalition deputy minister. The authority had opposed the idea of a sharp gas distribution fee hike, EVIKEN has pointed out.

The sizeable increase to the natural gas distribution fee, agreed to by the Greek government as part of the bailout deal’s gas market reforms, is intended to compensate regional gas suppliers (EPA) for the premature termination of exclusive supply deals in their respective regions of wider Athens, Thessaloniki, and Thessalia, in the mid-northeast.

The industrial association argues the 500 percent increase in favor of the existing EPA supply companies will not help competition develop in the gas market.

“Industry is counting on the opening up of the natural gas market and the establishment of real competition. We also expect other measures that will make the electricity market competitive,” EVIKEN noted in its appeal to the standing committee for production and trade.