Market shares unchanged, PPC remains steady at around 90%

Latest retail electricity market data released for the month of January confirms a prevailing belief supporting that the market is on hold awaiting developments. The main power utility PPC’s market share remained virtually unchanged. This stagnancy threatens to incite devastating bailout-related action against the utility.

According to energypress sources, PPC, pursuing an aggressive discount-based policy since last summer despite a bailout obligation for a drastic market share contraction by 2020, is holding steady with a market share of around 90 percent.

PPC’s persistence would have been less crucial had the present period not been one of intense negotiations between the Greek government and the country’s creditors to conclude the bailout’s second review.

Pressure, by the creditors, for the sale of a 17 percent share of PPC controlled by the Greek State, has become a core issue of these negotiations as it is becoming increasingly apparent that measures taken for the utility’s market share contraction are not producing results. The creditors have also begun pressuring the government to sell 40 percent of PPC’s llignite-fired and hydropower units by the summer of 2018.

PPC missed the bailout’s end-of-2016 target of a market share reduction to 87.24 percent. The utility must gradually reduce its market share to less than 50 percent by 2020. Along the way, PPC is expected to lower its market share to 75.24 percent by the end of 2017 and 62.24 percent by the end of 2018 before hitting 49.24 percent by the end of 2019.

An assessment of the progress made is due this coming June. Though the bailout’s original plan had charged RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, with this task, the creditors are pressuring to assume a greater role in the assessment.

Confusion over a RES-supporting electricity supplier surcharge, which was introduced recently but has struck levels well above expectations, has kept the market activity subdued. The board at RAE will address the issue at a meeting today. Its settlement is expected to encourage independent suppliers to relaunch promotional campaigns with renewed zest in a bid to make market share gains. Independent suppliers have held back as a result of the exorbitant supplier surcharge, which has affected budget plans and finances.

At this stage, it appears unlikely that the market momentum needed for PPC’s market share contraction to 75.24 percent by the end of the year will have been gained by June’s assessment.

According to the latest market data, PPC holds a market share of 89.83% – 59.67% in the low-voltage category, 18.82% in the medium-voltage category and 11.34% in the high-voltage category – a 1.17% increase.

Protergia follows with 2.69% – 1.11% low-voltage and 1.58% medium-voltage.

Elpedison is next with 2.42% – 1.19% low-voltage, 1.07% medium-voltage and 0.16% high voltage.

Heron holds 2.35% – 0.74% low-voltage and 1.61% medium-voltage.

Watt + Volt is at 0.76 percent – 0.65% low-voltage and 0.12% medium-voltage.

NRG Trading follows with 0.66% – 0.23% low-voltage and 0.43% medium-voltage.

Volterra holds 0.52%, all in the medium-voltage category.

Green trails with 0.35 percent – 0.22% low-voltage and 0.14% medium-voltage.