The main power utility PPC has taken a major step towards expanding its natural gas supply sources by placing its first order with Prometheus Gas, a Gazprom-Copelouzos group joint venture, for a total amount of 839,500 MWhth in 2018. Until now, PPC has relied on DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, for its gas needs.
PPC’s move follows a number of Prometheus Gas orders made this year by independent electricity producers and industrial enterprises.
The power utility’s order, based on a board decision made just days ago, will partially cover PPC’s gas needs in 2018 for electricity generation at its gas-fueled facilities.
Prometheus Gas is expected to end the current year with sales of close to one billion cubic meters, an amount representing 20 percent of the Greek market’s total gas demand, based on current figures.
According to sources, Prometheus Gas has already signed deals for natural gas supply totaling over one billion cubic meters in 2018. Most of these orders have been placed by electricity producers, industrial consumers, as well as suppliers, now operating in a reformed retail gas market.
The shape of Greece’s natural gas market in the year to come has yet to be finalized. The Mytilineos Group, the country’s biggest natural gas consumer with annual needs totaling 1.5 billion cubic meters, has yet to unveil its plans.
In recent comments to Reuters, Evangelos Mytilineos, chief executive of the Mytilineos Group, suggested the corporate group could soon begin trading amounts of around one billion cubic meters a year through M&M Gas, a wholesale trading joint venture involving the Mytilineos Group and Motor Oil Hellas.
Natural gas sales in the Greek market, currently dominated by three key players, have skyrocketed in recent times. Sales are expected to total 5 billion cubic meters in 2017, nearly double the sales figure of registered 2.9 billion cubic meters in 2015. worth slightly below one billion euros.
Despite the emergence of new players, DEPA, the gas utility, has managed to increase its sales by 9 percent in terms of volume and 32 percent in terms of operating profit. The utility’s EBITDA figure is estimated at 223 million euros.
The market data clearly shows that all players, including DEPA, have benefited from the overall rise in demand for natural gas. This trend may be repeated in 2018, a year during which PPC’s Megalopoli V power plant is expected to enter the system, which will further increase local natural gas demand.