Appeals court backs RAE tariff set for Aluminium of Greece

An Athens Court of Appeal has rejected main power utility PPC’s challenge of a decision delivered in 2013 by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, through which the power company had been ordered to sell electrical energy to the industrial enterprise Aluminium of Greece at a price of 36.6 euros per MWh.

The appeal court’s verdict is the latest and possibly final chapter of a prolonged legal dispute between PPC and Aluminium of Greece, a member of the Mytilineos corporate group, that has lasted a decade, the Greek energy market’s longest ever case.

Commenting on the development, market authorities noted that this latest decision brings to an end a series of legal challenges filed by PPC at Greek and European courts. On a wider level, it also bolsters the positions of large-scale industries pushing for fairer electricity tariffs from PPC, based on its actual costs and not those presented by the power utility, the authorities added.

In its verdict, the Athens Court of Appeal pointed out that RAE’s pricing decision for PPC covers the utility’s costs and also yields a profit.

PPC has argued that the price imposed by RAE would force the utility to supply electricity below cost and, as a result, constitutes illegal state aid. The utility did not accept RAE’s decision and presented its position to the European Commission, which rejected PPC’s argument about a year ago. PPC then took the case to the EU’s General Court, before the European Commission once again ruled against the utility.

The dispute between Aluminium of Greece and PPC began in 2006 after an older tariff agreement between the two sides, dating back to the 60s, expired. The battle escalated in 2013 following RAE’s pricing decision.