RAE approves gas supply license bid from PPC, seeking transformation

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has approved a gas supply license application submitted by the main power utility PPC, energypress sources have informed, a move that essentially represents a first step in the power utility’s transformation from an electricity firm to a full-ranged energy group.

It now remains to be seen how the utility will opt to move in the natural gas market.

According to the same sources, PPC is still organizing its natural gas market entry with assistance from two consulting firms, Boston Consulting and Samaras & Associates, both preparing the utility’s related business plan. A finalized plan concerning combined electricity-and-gas packaged to be offered by PPC is expected to be ready by the summer.

The power utility is believed to be aiming for a natural gas market share of around 30 percent, given its gigantic customer base in the electricity market. Experience has shown that major electricity firms entering natural gas markets in other parts of Europe have achieved such market penetration levels.

The Greek gas market offers enormous potential. The current total of natural gas consumers, numbering 600,000, is expected to grow at a rate of between 30,000 and 40,000 new customers per month over the next few years. Of course, PPC will face tough competition in two seasoned natural gas firms, EPA Attiki, supplying the wider Athens area, and Zenith, supplying Thessaloniki and Thessaly. These rivals also intend to push for greater market shares.