Industry reacts to plan for rise in gas distribution cost

New legislation intended to liberalize the gas market may not yet be official, but interested parties did get a glimpse of what to expect following the brief appearance of a draft bill on earlier this week before it was swiftly removed over alleged technical issues. The snapshot was not favorable for large-scale industrialists, who have already begun reacting to the prospect of increased energy costs which, they contend, will undermine government efforts for improved competitiveness.

Based on the anticipated gas market revisions, the cost of gas distribution, currently at one euro per MWh, will be quadrupled to four euros per MWh, and it remains unclear as to whether this change will be implemented temporarily or not.

Industrialists are already contending that industry cannot take on additional energy costs as part of a wider agreement being worked out to compensate the country’s three existing gas supply companies (EPA) – operating in the wider Athens region, Thessaloniki, and Thessalia, in the mid-northeast – in exchange for the loss of their exclusive regional monopolies as suppliers.

Industrial gas consumers argue that, if implemented, the development will severely affect investment plans amid a market where the cost of natural gas for Greek manufacturers is already 30 percent higher than that of European competitors.

The addition of a four euro per MWh gas distribution cost to already high transmission costs of between three and four euros per MWh is unprecedented in Europe, Greek industrialists have underlined.