PPC wants time for old units to avoid shortages, price hikes

Electricity consumers in Greece face serious power outage threats and a sharp rise in the cost of electricity if six ageing power stations in the country’s north are withdrawn from the grid once they clock up 17,500 hours of additional operating time offered though an EU opt-out arrangement, the main power utility PPC has warned.

A withdrawal of these power stations would force the country to greatly depend on electricity imports while the level of technical availability of natural gas-fueled power stations will need to remain high. These factors would greatly increase wholesale electricity price increases and make it difficult for suppliers to operate.

Four units in Kardia and two in Amynteo were granted an additional 17,500 hours of limited operating time, for environmental reasons, based on an EU directive.

The System Marginal Price (SMP) stands to increase by no less than 12.5 euros per MWh and could reach as high as 300 euros per MWh, PPC has warned.

The power utility’s chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis informed the corporation’s board of these dangers at a meeting yesterday focused on the impact of Kardia and Amynteo unit withdrawals.

PPC has informed both the country’s energy ministry and the European Commission of its concerns and has requested an operating time increase to 32,000 hours.

A related study presented at yesterday’s PPC board meeting will be used by the energy ministry to support the power station’s time extension request, sources noted.