Return to overall normality needed by energy market

The arrival of credit controls, political uncertainty, questions concerning the government’s true intentions on the privatization program, and the overall freeze in investment activity have stood as the key components of the country’s adverse conditions of recent months. Now the additional uncertainty of early elections has been added to this dangerous mix.

A return to normality is required, market sources are stressing, adding that it remains to be seen whether the early elections, announced last night, will guide the country towards a return to stability and investor confidence or further misadventures.

A number of crucial issues remain unresolved in the energy sector. The market is awaiting specific government policies for the sector, which would allow enterprises to make calculated plans and decisions.

Fears are intensifying over the effects on the market of the rising level of unpaid overdue electricity bills owed by consumers to main power utility PPC. According to latest information, the figure has now exceeded two billion euros. Many officials fear the latest election battle will lead to a further escalation of this amount. It remains questionable how long PPC can continue persevering amid such adverse cash-flow conditions.

Investment activity in the energy sector has been grounded, while Ptolemaida 5, a major PPC power station investment in Ptolemaida, northern Greece, has been delayed.

The imposition of capital controls has caused various practical issues in the market, which is affecting daily electricity orders. Imported electricity activity has halted.

Whether the early elections will lead to political stability and a returm to normality remains to be seen.