PPC industrial rates likely to be put on hold for future date

It appears most likely that a decision on lower industrial electricity consumption rates offered by PPC (Public Power Corporation) throughout 2014 and intended to be reendorsed for 2015 will be delayed for a further date.

A PPC shareholders meeting, scheduled for today – amid the thick of the country’s political uncertainty and Parliament’s effort to elect a new President and avoid early general elections – is expected, if staged, to tackle lighter issues, such as the appointment of a new board member. Until late last night, certain sources contended that today’s meeting would most probably be postponed.

Last February, PPC introduced – retroactively as of January 1 – a ten percent discount for energy-intensive industrial consumers with annual consumption levels of at least 1,000 GWh. Also, these industrial operations were offered a further 25 percent discount for late-night and weekend electricity consumption. It was agreed that both discounts would apply throughout 2014 with a possibility for an extension in 2015, if  endorsed at the PPC shareholders meeting.

Just days ago, Deputy Environment, Energy & Climate Change Deputy Minister Makis Papageorgiou had left open the possibility of the meeting’s postponement. Also, the European Commission has made clear its intention to have the industrial rates package examined along with other forthcoming price-influencing electricity market revisions, including auctions.

The ministry supports that the current lower industrial rates will continue to apply until a decision is reached by the government with the country’s creditor representatives, or troika.

At this stage, a further one-year extension of the lower rates offered to local industry appears unlikely. Based on the increased likelihood of early general elections, as Parliament does not look like it will be able to elect a new President and avert a premature end of the current coalition’s term, the industrial sector will probably need to wait for a new government with a fresh mandate before any decision is taken.

Of 73 energy-intensive industries on high-voltage connections, 61 have either already signed, or have agreed to sign, new agreements for 2015 based on the rates offered at last February’s PPC shareholders meeting.