Ministry officials questioned by DG Comp on electricity market

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition has expressed satisfaction over Greece’s pledge for decarbonization by 2028 as well as a privatization plan for distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO, but the Brussels authority is demanding clarification on both procedures as details of an upcoming draft bill for power utility PPC concerning its planned coal generator withdrawals.

An energy ministry team headed by secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou was summoned by the DG Comp for a meeting in Brussels yesterday. The DG Comp is looking for a clear picture of Greece’s new-look electricity market, still in the making.

An older case taking state-controlled PPC to European Court over the non-access of third parties to Greece’s lignite sources, monopolized by PPC, remains open following July’s derailing of an effort by PPC to sell lignite-fired power stations.

Brussels remains apprehensive and wants full details on the lignite sector as PPC will continue to control it for nearly a decade, until 2028, when every single coal generator in Greece is expected to have ceased operating, according to the decarbonization plan, announced recently by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

It is feared that a new aggressive pricing policy expected to be announced by PPC early in 2020 could end up increasing the power utility’s retail electricity market share, reported at 71.77 percent in September.