PPC seeking natural gas retail, wholesale, infrastructure roles

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has issued a natural gas supply license to the main power utility PPC, the authority has officially announced, paving the way for the electricity company to pursue a revised business plan for the future that is expected to include penetration into the natural gas sector’s retail and wholesale markets, as well as involvement in major-scale gas infrastructure projects.

PPC is preparing its entry into the natural gas market, a development that promises to transform the corporation from a natural gas consumer to a key player, PPC’s deputy chief Stavros Goutsos stressed.

At present, the power utility is the country’s biggest natural gas consumer, requiring approximately 1.4 bcm for electricity generation needs, from 4.8 bcm of the country’s total for this purpose.

According to energypress sources, PPC is examining the prospect of taking part in major natural gas sector projects such as the Kavala gas storage facility, the FSRU in Alexandroupoli, CNG development around the country, as well as small-scale LNG infrastructure development for supply to the islands.

The same sources informed that PPC is also looking to become involved in the LNG spot market as its plans include importing LNG shipments.

As for the retail gas market, PPC is striving to offer combined gas and electricity packages to consumers by October. Rival firms are already offering such combined packages.

PPC will aim for a retail gas market share of around 30 percent given its substantial client base in the electricity market. The firm is taking its cue from similar moves taken by major power firms around Europe that have also entered natural gas markets. The growth prospects promised by the Greek gas market represent a key incentive.