The European Commission could reach a decision by the end of November on an energy ministry request seeking compensation for state-controlled power utility PPC’s plan to withdrawal lignite-fired power stations ahead of schedule.
The ministry has requested a compensation package of 180, 150 and 200 million euros for 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively, for the power utility.
European Commission officials are currently closely examining the data and information accompanying the Greek application, energypress sources informed.
At best, a decision could be delivered in approximately three weeks, the sources estimated, adding that the Greek request has been favorably received.
Last May, the European Commission released a 52.5 million-euro compensation package to the Netherlands for the country’s premature closure of its Hemweg coal-fired facilities.
Greek officials had initially sought, quite some time ago, the approval of a cost recovery mechanism for PPC’s lignite-fired units, implemented in Germany as a strategic reserve capacity.
This proved too complex, prompting Greek officials to shift their focus onto the current compensation request for the country’s effort to decarbonize.
The European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager declared, in May, when the Hemweg compensation bid was approved, that EU member states must be compensated for their decarbonization efforts, adding that the Dutch compensation amount does not cause European market distortions.
PPC’s lignite unit losses are reported to have reached 300 million euros last year. The utility is seeking to limit such losses by closing such units sooner than planned.
PPC has announced its Megalopoli III facility will be shut down six months earlier, in the first half of 2021 instead of early 2022. If accomplished, this closure will represent PPC’s second PPC lignite unit withdrawal following Amynteo, closed down in May.
The utility intends to push for a swifter withdrawal of all other lignite-fired units, except Ptolemaida V.