Electricity suppliers could be granted access to power utility PPC’s lignite-related electricity production until 2023, when all the utility’s existing lignite units are scheduled to have been withdrawn, according to a new proposal forwarded by Greek authorities to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition, energypress sources have informed.
The energy ministry delivered this transitional mechanism proposal to Brussels last week after a previous plan appears to have been blocked.
The initial proposal, delivered last December, called for the formation of an SPV by the country’s energy-intensive industrial enterprises to be supplied satisfactory electricity amounts from PPC’s lignite-fired power stations.
However, this proposal appears to have been rejected by Brussels as it focused entirely on industry and excluded retail suppliers, seen as a breach of competition rules because it would not help further open up Greece’s electricity market.
The new Greek proposal is expected to serve as the basis of a new round of talks with the European Commission, scheduled to begin around mid-March. It remains unclear if the new proposal stands a chance of being approved by Brussels competition authorities.
Brussels officials, for quite some time now, have made note of Greece’s failure to comply with a European Court ruling on lignite access for third parties, directly linking this shortcoming with the country’s commitment to a retail electricity market share contraction target at state-controlled PPC to a level of less than 50 percent this year.
The European Commission wants alternative measures implemented between now and 2023 as a result of Greece’s failure to sell PPC lignite units and unilateral termination of NOME auctions.