Natural gas market reforms well behind schedule

Procedures leading to the operational and legal division of natural gas distribution networks and the trading activities of Greece’s regional gas supply (EPA) companies are one of the energy-sector reforms that have fallen well behind schedule.

The division is a vital step in the process towards fully liberalizing the country’s natural gas market.

Based on the country’s third balout agreement, these reforms need to be fully implemented as of January 1, 2017. However, RAE, Greece’s Regulatory Authority for Energy, ought to have already approved a series of regulations. No progress has yet to be made.

Officials at EPA Attiki, the gas supply company covering the wider Athens area, had submitted the company’s management regulations and pricing policy to RAE in November, 2015, and, based on the schedule, should have received approval from the authority by the end of last February. Eight months on, there has been no sign of any progress.

Part of the delay was caused by a staff shortage problem at RAE over an extended period. However, as things have turned out, RAE cannot affort to waste any time.