Energy officials battle to meet October 15 bailout deadline

The Energy and Environment Ministry is battling against time to meet bailout energy sector requirements ahead of an October 15 deadline. The deal’s energy sector package, one of 48 prerequisites that were discussed at last Friday’s Euro Working Group, will also be on the agenda of today’s Eurogroup meeting of eurozone finance ministers.

The Greek energy ministry, along with RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, serving as the country’s technical advisor in the effort, are expected to make certain announcements within the current week, as proposals for many of the energy matters are believed to be ready.

The Euro Working Group list of items agreed to for delivery by Greece this month includes a NOME-type auction plan to be discusssed with European Commission officials.

A transitionary and permanent CAT mechanism for power stations, to replace a preceding version, will also need to be prepared. Discussions with the European Commission for a permanent mechanism are expected to be stretched beyond October.

Moreover, revisions are expected to the wholesale electricity market so as to avoid below-cost operations at power stations.

An agreement offsetting debt issues between the main power utility PPC and operators is also expected.

Gas market reforms, including an issue concerning distribution cost increases, also need to be prepared for the October deadline.

In addition, a “disruption management” plan to enable energy cost savings for major-scale industry in exchange for shifting energy usage to off-peak hours whenever required by IPTO, the power grid operator, must be introduced.

PPC must implement cost-based tariffs and abolish subsidized rates such as those offered to farmers.

Finally, PPC needs to replace its 20 percent discount offered to industry with customized tariffs reflecting the respective profiles and needs of industrial consumers.