PPC market share seen falling to 60%, a tool for lender talks

Power utility PPC’s retail market share is projected to drop to 60 percent, or even less, the gradual entry into the market in coming months of lower-cost electricity acquired by independent suppliers at older NOME auctions, prior to their recent termination, being a key factor.

This market share forecast and other projections are expected to be included in state-controlled PPC’s new business plan, to be announced in mid-December.

Deputy energy minister Gerassimos Thomas and PPC chief executive Giorgos Stassis offered respective accounts of the power utility’s changing role at a parliamentary session last night.

The power utility’s projected market share drop could be used as a negotiating tool by the  energy ministry in talks with the European Commission on the future role of PPC amid the electricity market’s new landscape.

Greek officials could seek the establishment of a milder and more realistic market share contraction target of between 60 to 65 percent for PPC instead of a currently unattainable 50 percent target included in the country’s third bailout agreement.

Higher tariffs at PPC, introduced September 1, have given competitors the opportunity to make further market share gains. This could also bolster the negotiating position of Greek officials in their talks with the European Commission.

Returning to the NOME auctions, the benefits for independent suppliers of lower-cost electricity acquired at these sessions are not unlimited and should dry up by June, 2020.

NOME auctions were recently terminated as PPC was being forced to offer rivals lower-cost electricity at a loss, the government explained.

This decision was made prior to the year’s final session, scheduled for October 16, which would have offered independent suppliers a mammoth 1,029 MW, enough to stretch the benefits for independent players well beyond June, 2020.