OTE entry into electricity market to impact conditions

A decision by Greek telecommunications market leader OTE to make a full-fledged entry into the retail electricity market, according to energypress sources, promises to make an enormous impact on the market and create new market conditions.

OTE already holds a supply license, which the company has so far utilized for self-supply purposes concerning facilities and stores. This activity alone represents a 0.3 percent share of the retail electricity market.

The company’s press office, contacted by energypress, insisted OTE intends to continue using its electricity supply license to service its own needs.

However, market officials informed that the telecommunications giant is already maneuvering to consolidate its place as an electricity supplier in the wider market and may have already secured agreements with certain mid-voltage customers. A turn by OTE to the low-voltage market appears to be the next step.

An application submitted by OTE for registration at ESEPIE, the Hellenic Association of Electricity Trading & Supply Companies, which suggests the firm is planning to become an active electricity supplier, has been approved. ESEPIE represents electricity supply firms that are not vertically integrated, or do not own electricity generation facilities.

OTE possesses an enormous network, a strong brand name, a wide customer base, as well as advanced retail knowhow.

Questions have been raised as to whether the smaller electricity suppliers will be able to remain independent now that Greece’s retail electricity market appears to have gained another major independent player in addition to three vertically integrated companies and the natural gas firms.

Conditions are currently extremely challenging for players in Greece’s retail electricity market. The number of punctual customers has been significantly reduced and the mid-voltage sector does not offer a respectable profit margin. So far, the market’s 18 independent players have managed to capture a collective 18 percent of the market. The lion’s share is still held by PPC, the main power utility.