IPTO posts record interconnection usage right earnings

IPTO, the power grid operator, posted record earnings for interconnection usage rights provided in 2015 by Turkey, Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Fyrom), Albania, and Italy, totaling 57.3 million euros.

In 2014, the operator’s earnings from interconnection usage rights totaled 45 million euros, while, in preceding years, the figure usually amounted to less than 35 million euros, sometimes well below.

The considerable increase in 2015 reflects the major rise in the level of cross-border trade, especially electricity imports into Greece, which, according to IPTO data, covered roughly 19 percent of local power demand for the year.

Despite the impressive earnings increase achieved by IPTO in 2015, the figure fell short of a forecast that had anticipated interconnection usage right earnings in excess of 65 million euros. The arrival of capital controls, imposed by the Greek government last July, severely restricted electricity imports. This boosted locally produced electricity, particularly at gas-fueled power stations.

Reflecting the development, IPTO’s interconnection usage right earnings reached 34 million euros in the first half of 2015 but slowed down to 23.34 million euros in the second half.

Bulgaria, the region’s biggest exporter of electricity, provided 46 percent of IPTO’s interconnection usage right earnings. Fyrom provided a 20 percent share, Albania contributed 13.5 percent, Italy 12.85 percent and Turkey 7.76 percent.

IPTO reinvests these usage right earnings primarily for upgrading and expanding its networks.

In 2015, IPTO posted a total turnover figure of 258 million euros compared to 262 million euros in 2014. The operator’s EBITDA figure reached 155 million euros in 2015 compared to 213 million euros in 2014. Net profit amounted to 35.5 million euros in 2015, down from 69.9 million euros in 2014.

The operator attributed the reductions, especially for the EBITDA figure, to an increase in operating costs, which rose to 103 million euros in 2015 from 51 million euros in 2014.