EC report demands measures giving PPC rivals lignite access

The European Commission has called for the immediate implementation of additional electricity market measures as it believes the Greek government’s current initiatives, including swift decarbonization, power utility PPC’s restructuring, and the sale of distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO, are insufficient as they should deliver results in the long term.

This concern, along with key observations on PPC, the energy market’s liberalization, gas utility DEPA and the renewable energy sector, was raised in the European Commission’s fourth enhanced surveillance report on Greece, just released and accompanying the approval of a 767 million-euro installment in support of the Greek economy.

Despite positively reviewing the government’s initiatives, Brussels, in the report, lists a number of requirements that must be honored quickly, by the end of December, based on a 2018 agreement. They include energy market interventions, especially the electricity market.

The Greek government, bowing to pressure applied by the country’s lenders, has already promised to deliver alternative measures tackling PPC’s market dominance and exclusive access to the country’s lignite sources.

These measures will come as an addition to the government’s intention to push ahead with PPC’s withdrawal plan for its lignite units until full decarbonization is achieved.

Market data indicates PPC rivals are entering Greece’s retail and wholesale electricity markets, but the power utility’s ongoing dominant position and exclusive access to lignite continue to raise concerns, the report noted.

Brussels makes note of ongoing wholesale market distortions favoring PPC as a result of the utility’s exclusive access to lignite-generated electricity.

The Greek government is preparing alternative antitrust measures facilitating the entry of PPC’s competitors to lignite-based electricity generation, the report noted.