Power utility PPC is moving swiftly towards a finalized investment decision on a fuel-conversion plan for its prospective Ptolemaida V facility in northern Greece, to begin operating as a lignite-fired power station in 2022 before converting, a few years later, to a natural gas-fired facility equipped with infrastructure also enabling the use of hydrogen.
PPC’s chief executive Giorgos Stassis will present the plan to the company board at a meeting scheduled for the end of June, when it is expected to be approved, sources informed.
The plan will include schedules and financial studies for the conversion of Ptolemaida V, Greece’s last lignite-fired power station in development.
The PPC board is expected to stick to its plan of operating Ptolemaida V as a lignite-fired power station until 2025, instead of 2028, as was initially planned, before making the fuel switch to natural gas.
The country’s ambitious decarbonization targets and rallying CO2 emission right prices, currently at lofty levels ranging between 40 and 44 euros per ton, prompted Stassis, the CEO, to hasten PPC’s withdrawal of lignite units.
Ptolemaida V will be loss-incurring as a lignite-fired facility, the chief executive told analysts, responding to questions, during a recent presentation of the company’s financial results.
PPC also plans to increase the production capacity of Ptolemaida V to 1,000 MW from 660 MW. The facility will be flexible, possessing the ability to swiftly increase output from 300 to 1,000 MW within 30 minutes to an hour.
The facility’s fuel conversion cost is estimated at 250 million euros, sources have informed.
Stassis told analysts Ptolemaida V will be competitive even without support from the Capacity Remuneration Mechanism (CRM), being sought by the government from the European Commission as support for flexibility.