Market players set for series of gas and electricity auctions

Important market-changing auctions planned to take place in the natural gas and electricity markets over a period of just a few weeks have players poised and ready for action.

An upcoming auction to be staged this Friday by DESFA, the natural gas grid operator, offering capacities at the Greek-Bulgarian border, ranks as the most interesting of all as it will be the first such session.

According to the results of a public consultation procedure published by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, M&M Gas, a venture involving Motor Oil Hellas and the Mytilineos corporate group, as well as Prometheus Gas, representing Gazprom and the Kopelouzos group, both showed interested in the DESFA auction and its details.

During the public consultation procedure, M&M Gas was critical of the imminent DESFA auction’s terms and model, describing the approach as one that “creates obstacles for the interconnection’s opening to new users and the development of competition.”

Following the DESFA auction, parent company DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, is scheduled to stage an auction on December 13, offering gas amounts for the first quarter of 2017. This session will also be interesting as it represents the first to be staged since the recent bailout-required increase of DEPA’s gas release, the percentage of natural gas offered by the corporation to the market through auctions.

Beyond the natural gas market, procedures are already underway for the next ‘disruption’ management auction, scheduled for December 28, according to sources. IPTO, the power grid operator, has requested that interested parties register their maximum sustainable capacities for 2017 by December 16.

The ‘disruption management’ mechanism enables major industrial enterprises to benefit from electricity cost savings in exchange for shifting energy usage to off-peak hours whenever required by the operator.

Also, the second NOME auction, coming as a follow-up to the inaugural session in October, is expected to take place in early January. An electricity amount equivalent to 12 percent of the grid’s total amount in 2016 will be offered.

The just-introduced NOME auctions are intended to provide third parties with access to main power utility PPC’s low-cost lignite and hydropower sources as a measure to help break the utility’s market dominance.