The main power utility PPC is striving to offset its bailout-required diminished presence in the country’s electricity market, anticipated over the next few years, with a formidable entry into the natural gas market, both at wholesale and retail levels.
Entry into Greece’s natural gas market appears to be the only viable solution for relatively swift results, PPC’s administration has determined following a close examination of various alternatives.
The company’s leadership appears convinced that PPC can play a key role in Greece’s natural gas market, initially at a retail level. In other EU markets, major electricity sector players, utilizing existing client bases, have managed to capture gas market shares of around 30 percent. PPC is aiming to achieve a similar result.
Market research conducted by PPC indicates that the customer loyalty established by the utility over many years in the electricity market will provide the firm with impetus to achieve results in the natural gas market.
PPC, which already holds a gas supply license, aims to offer combined electricity and gas packages to consumers. The power utility has commissioned consultants – Boston Consulting as well as Samaras and Associates – to prepare a business plan for its entry into the natural gas market.
Approximately 600,000 consumers are currently connected to the country’s natural gas network. The figure is expected to increase at a rate of between 30,000 and 40,000 new connections a year in various parts of Greece.
Acting likewise from the opposite end, the country’s older EPA gas supply companies covering the wider Athens area, Thessaloniki and Thessaly are also moving into the electricity market.
Greece’s retail natural gas market was fully liberalized at the beginning of this year. Distribution networks are being extended and new networks are being established for the use of compressed gas options.