Europe falling behind North America in energy transition race

Despite taking the initiative, back in 2010, for action against the climate crisis, Europe has since lost plenty of ground and now lags behind North America in the energy transition race as a result of a lack of measures and incentives to attract related investments.

Evangelos Mytilineos, president and CEO at the Mytilineos group, as well as president of Eurometaux, Europe’s association for non-ferrous metals producers and recyclers, has pointed out this widening gap that separates Europe and North America.

The USA is subsidizing the cost of energy transition projects at a level of 20 percent, while Canada’s subsidy support reaches 30 percent.

Such investment support for energy transition projects is sorely lacking in Europe, more focused on setting goals and proposing actions such as the Critical Raw Material Act, intended to ensure the EU’s access to a secure, diversified, affordable and sustainable supply of critical raw materials.

Europe’s approach is failing to attract investors, and, even more crucially, energy-intensive industries, Mytilineos pointed out. Many are relocating their headquarters to Asia and the USA.

Energy cost is a key factor behind such decisions. Even now, natural gas prices in the EU, which have de-escalated, remain five times higher than in the USA.

Europe was particularly fortunate last winter as a result of lower temperatures, energy savings, the absence of China from markets, and restricted energy demand in the Far East. However, this fortune has begun changing as energy prices in the Far East are now beginning to exceed European prices. LNG tankers are heading back to Asia in increasing numbers.

The Mytilineos group’s chief forecast the USA would recover from the energy crisis sooner than Europe. Canada, also recovering faster, recently lured the Mytilineos group for a 1.16 billion-euro solar energy portfolio acquisition.

Delayed European decisions, held back by greater bureaucracy and the time-consuming need for approvals by all member states, will leave the continent well behind North America in the energy transition race, Mytilineos noted.

DAM price collapse a major concern for RES producers

The increased occurrence, in Greece, of day-ahead market prices reaching zero levels, or, as has been the case in other European markets, declines into negative territory, has emerged as a new threat for the financial sustainability of RES projects.

Last Sunday, Greece’s day-ahead market reached a zero-level price for eight continual hours, a result of elevated RES production, combined with subdued electricity demand and restricted exports.

Evangelos Mytilineos, president and CEO at the Mytilineos group, made reference to the impact on RES producer earnings of the crash in day-ahead market prices during the corporation’s annual shareholders’ meeting, held yesterday.

The zeroing out of wholesale prices is leading to hefty losses for RES producers with portfolios not possessing operating support contracts, or without green-energy PPAs, but, instead, participating in the market directly, Mytilieos pointed out.

Energy sufficiency safe for summer, operators inform

The energy sector’s market operators are confident the country faces no energy insufficiency issues going into summer, their optimistic outlook shaped by satisfactory hydropower station reservoir levels, maintained at last year’s levels, ample lignite stockpiles, as well as a bigger-than-ever addition of new RES units to the grid this year.

Moreover, the Mytilineos group and power utility PPC plan to fully launch new power stations over the next couple of months, to result in an extra capacity of 1,500 MW.

At a meeting yesterday, market operators informed RAAEY, the Regulatory Authority for Waste, Energy and Water, of their positive outlook for summer, after having already updated the caretaker government’s energy minister Pantelis Kapros.

Hydropower station capacity currently stands at 2,800 MW, RES unit additions offer 1 GW, lignite stockpiles exceed 3 million tons, while the 1,500 MW to be offered by the imminent arrival of the Mytilineos group and PPC power stations will further reinforce the country’s energy sufficiency.

Market operators and RAAEY held yesterday’s meeting to discuss moves already made, outstanding action still needed to fully protect the grid going into summer, and to resolve any pending energy-related issues concerning the Greek islands, where demand multiplies due to tourism activity.

Caretaker energy minister confident all is in place

The caretaker government’s energy minister Pantelis Kapros has assumed his post feeling confident that all has already been put into place by previous officials to ensure energy sufficiency as summer approaches.

His predecessor, Kostas Skrekas, the country’s market operators and power utility PPC have taken all necessary initiatives to ensure energy sufficiency, even under high temperatures.

Kapros, professor of energy economics and operational research at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), has made this confidence clear during a first round of talks with market operators and regulators.

He will remain in charge of Greece’s energy portfolio until a new government is sworn in following a second round of voting, possibly late next month.

Reservoir water levels at PPC’s dams have been maintained at levels comparable to last year, lignite reserves are high, while the number of new RES units connected to the grid this year has reached unprecedented heights.

The country’s hydropower facilities currently offer a capacity of 2,800 to 2,900 MW, lignite stocks measure 3 million tons, and more than 1 GW in new RES unit connections have been made.

Furthermore, two new power stations, a Mytilineos group facility and PPC’s Ptolemaida V, promising an overall capacity of 1,500 MW, are now close to being launched.

Viohalco third energy-intensive producer to leave PPC

Metal processing company Viohalco, one of Greece’s biggest electricity consumers, has become the third industrial producer to move away from power utility PPC after establishing an electricity supply agreement with independent producer Heron, company sources have told energypress.

Viohalco’s decision to part ways with PPC as its supplier follows departures by ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) and the Mytilineos group’s Aluminium of Greece, though this latter company’s move away has not yet been completed.

ELPE was the first energy-intensive producer to leave PPC after the two sides failed to reach a supply agreement in 2021. ELPE ended up establishing a supply agreement with Elpedison, in which it holds a 50 percent stake as part of a 50-50 venture with Edison.

Aluminium of Greece, the country’s biggest electricity consumer, is primarily supplied its energy needs by group subsidiaries Protergia and Watt+Volt. The producer aims to have completely ended its reliance on PPC for energy supply by 2024.

An existing supply agreement between PPC and Aluminium of Greece remains valid but is the last following a 60-year association, a development aligned with the Mytilineos group’s green-energy goals for its production of aluminium.

Meanwhile, other major producers, among them some of the country’s biggest energy consumers, have reached advanced talks with PPC to establish 10-year, green-energy power purchase agreements, through PPC subsidiary PPC Renewables.


IPTO confident of energy sufficiency this coming summer

Greek power grid operator IPTO, contrary to officials in other parts of Europe fearing drought periods will affect their electricity sufficiency, is confident current local conditions are favorable enough to get the country through the high-demand summer season.

Reservoir water levels at Greek power utility PPC’s hydropower facilities have just about been maintained at last year’s levels, more RES units have been connected to the grid this year than ever before, while the country’s lignite stocks are also currently high, at three million tons, following a concerted energy-crisis effort made since last year.

In addition, Greece’s grid is set to be reinforced, within the next couple of months, by the addition of two new power stations – a Mytilineos group unit and PPC’s Ptolemaida V – to offer an extra generation capacity of 1,500 MW.

Reservoir water levels at PPC’s hydropower plants currently offer 2,720 MW and are expected, over the next few days, to rise to 2,850 MW, levels recorded last year, primarily as a result of increased flow at northern Greece’s Haliacmon river.

Mytilineos uses aggregator permit for country’s first demand-response transaction

The Mytilineos group, through a portfolio including its Aluminium of Greece company, has become the country’s first company to use an aggregator (FOSE) permit in a demand-response program, established as part of an EU proposal aiming to reduce energy consumption by 5 percent.

The Mytilineos group conducted its first such transaction on May 28, energypress sources informed.

In the lead-up, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, had approved a 500-MW permit for Mytilineos to use in this demand-response program, while power grid operator IPTO conducted trial runs to ensure the system’s platform was ready to operate.

The demand response system enables variation of electricity consumption by end-users such as commercial and industrial enterprises in order to balance the electricity network during periods of peak production or consumption.

Sympower Greece, also holding a 500-MW aggregator permit for the demand-response program, has registered to participate but had not conducted any transactions until last Friday, the sources noted.

NRG holds a 100-MW aggregator permit for the the demand-response program, Optimus Energy possesses a 350-MW permit, power utility PPC holds a 1,500-MW permit, and Elpedison holds a 500-MW permit. These companies are believed to be preparing to conduct their first aggregator demand-response transactions.


Local firms move with caution ahead of joint EU gas purchases

Local electricity producers, suppliers and traders are examining final details in preparation for a first round of joint EU natural gas purchases ahead of next winter, through a related platform launched today.

The platform, AggregateEU, a joint purchasing service designed to facilitate common natural gas purchases as a means of keeping prices lower by preventing bidding rivalry between companies based in fellow EU member states, will remain open to applications for a week, until May 2.

In comments to energypress, officials of companies intending to place orders through the platform said they remain cautious and are seeking clarification on various details, including commitments and the extent of potential benefits, or more specifically, price levels that can be achieved through joint orders compared to prices if ordering alone.

In any case, local companies will seek to contribute to the initiative’s common European gas orders.

The Greek energy ministry held a related meeting towards the end of January to discuss the initiative with market players. Energy company officials representing power utility PPC, DEPA Commercial, Mytilineos, Elpedison, Heron and Prometheus Gas, as well as EVIKEN, the Association of Industrial Energy Consumers, took part.

EU authorities plan to stage common gas purchases every two months over the next year.



Wholesale power price falls 21% in March, reshuffled retailer rankings

The country’s day-ahead market took a further step away from the energy crisis in March, price levels falling considerably, both year-to-year and compared to the previous month, the Hellenic Energy Exchange’s monthly report has shown.

The Greek wholesale electricity market’s DAM averaged a price level of 122.76 euros per MWh in March, down by 21.4 percent compared to February, when it ended the month with an average of 156.24 euros per MWh.

Local DAM prices peaked at 272.68 euros per MWh in March, 2022, when Russia’s war on Ukraine began to impact wholesale electricity and gas markets throughout Europe, and have since fallen by 55 percent.

Despite this price de-escalation, levels remain well above pre-energy crisis levels. In March, 2021, for instance, the wholesale electricity price in Greece averaged 57.64 euros per MWh, less than half the current level.

As for the country’s energy mix, renewables were ranked the most dominant contributor for yet another month in March, contributing 35 percent. Electricity imports were sizeable in March, covering 23 percent of the energy mix, the equivalent contribution of natural gas. Lignite was ranked fourth with a 13 percent share contribution to the Greek energy mix last month, the Hellenic Energy Exchange report showed.

In the retail electricity market, power utility PPC, the dominant player, experienced a market-share contraction in March to 61.53 percent from 63 percent, a loss gained by the independent suppliers.

Heron established itself as the new market leader among the independent electricity suppliers in March, capturing a 7.53 percent share, up from 7.24 percent. Mytilineos slipped to second place with 7.47 percent, down marginally from 7.49 percent, while Elpedison followed with 6.07 percent, up from 6 percent.

The list of top ten electricity retailers in Greece was completed by NRG, capturing 5.14 percent, up from 4.85 percent; Aerio Attikis, at 3.15 percent from 2.97 percent; Watt & Volt, 2.78% (2.08%); Volterra, 2.09% (1.92%); Zenith, 2.02% (2.14%); and Volton, 0.87% (0.98%).


Gas firms requested to store away 7.5 TWh total this year

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has requested natural gas suppliers to start storing away gas quantities ahead of next winter, based on EU energy-security provisions, energypress sources have informed.

The authority aims to encourage companies to make the most of current favorable terms in international gas markets. Gas price levels are currently far lower than they have been during the energy crisis, so quantities required for storage can be secured at competitive prices.

RAE is believed to have informed gas companies that a total of 7.5 TWh will need to be stored away in 2023. The country’s gas importers, DEPA Commercial, Mytilineos, Elpedison, Heron, power utility PPC and Prometheus Gas will need to take on the responsibility of securing this 7.5 TWh quantity.

An EU regulation set last year requires member states without – or without sufficient – domestic gas storage facilities to store away gas quantities representing 15 percent of the previous five-year average of annual gas usage by November 1 at existing storage facilities maintained by fellow member states.

Bulgaria’s underground Chiren gas storage facility appears to be short of space to accommodate Greek gas orders, meaning Greek importers will need to turn to costlier Italian and French alternatives, along with the FSU on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens.

Annual gas usage in Greece averaged 61.1 TWh between 2018 and 2022, meaning that a 15 percent proportion works out to 9.2 TWh. RAE deducted 1.7 TWh for alternate purposes, resulting in its 7.5-TWh figure set for this year.

Contrary to last year, companies are not expected to be compensated for any leftover gas quantities. Also, gas companies will need to assume all gas transportation and storage costs, to ultimately be passed on to consumers.

Gas companies have already expressed complaints, calling the storage requirement and its related obligations an unfeasible, high-cost plan. They are seeking revisions.


Power usage in February falls for 8th month in a row, down by 2.25%

Electricity usage in Greece fell for an eighth successive month in February, dropping by 2.25 percent, compared to the equivalent month a year earlier, data in a latest report from power grid operator IPTO has shown.

However, the February drop was far milder than the 13.78 percent electricity usage decline recorded in January.

Consumers in Greece used an electricity amount of 4,069 GWh in February, down from 4,163 GWh in February, 2022.

Monthly electricity usage in the country has not stopped declining since an initial fall registered last July.

Renewable energy dominated February’s energy mix, capturing a 41.2 percent share, followed by gas-fueled power stations, with 22.5 percent, and lignite-fired power stations, at 15 percent.

As for retail electricity market shares, power utility PPC, the dominant player, gained 2.5 percent in February. compared to the previous month, for a 62.58 percent market share.

Among the independent suppliers, Protergia, a member of the Mytilineos group, remained at the forefront in February with a 7.44 percent retail market share, down from 10.53 percent a month earlier.

The country’s two other vertically integrated energy groups followed. Heron ended January with a 7.03 percent market share, up from 6.83 percent, and Elpedison captured a 5.91 percent market share, down from 6.02 percent.

Elsewhere, NRG captured a 4.82 percent retail electricity market share in January, up from 4.55 percent, followed by Aerio Attikis at 2.78 percent, marginally above the previous month’s 2.66 percent; Zenith registered 2.23 percent (2.17%); Watt & Volt was at 2.09 percent (2.06%); and Volterra captured 1.81 percent (1.8%). The remainder of suppliers shared a total of 3.3 percent.


PPC market share gain of 3.5% last month shed by Mytilineos

Power utility PPC’s retail market share, covering all voltage-related categories, rose to 63.54 percent in February, up 3.5 percent on the previous month, a gain more or less shed by Mytilineos, whose overall market share contracted to 7.44 percent in February from 10.67 percent in January, according to latest data included in the energy exchange’s monthly report.

In the high-voltage category, PPC’s market share increased to 86.64 percent in February from 67.04 percent in January, while, on the contrary, its medium-voltage market share fell to 37.72 percent from 39.48 percent.

PPC’s market share in the low-voltage category edged up to 65.57 percent in February from 64.87 percent a month earlier, the energy exchange data showed.

The market shares of other electricity retailers remained virtually unchanged between January and February. Heron captured a 7.24 percent overall market share in February, marginally up from January’s 7.13 percent.

Elpedison’s market share slipped to 6 percent from 6.27 percent; NRG gained marginally to capture a 4.85 percent market share compared to 4.65 percent in January; Fysiko Aerio Attikis captured a 2.97 percent market share in February compared to 2.88 percent in January; Zenith’s market share was 2.14 percent from 2.13 percent a month earlier; Watt+Volt registered a market share of 2.08 percent from 2.09 percent; Volterra edged up its presence to 1.92 percent from 1.82 percent, while Volton’s market share stepped back to 0.98 percent from 1.03 percent.


Top energy sector officials taking part at Power & Gas Forum, March 22-23

The government’s top-ranked energy sector officials as well as a host of other leading figures from political, institutional, academic and business domains will be talking part in the Power & Gas Forum on March 22 and 23 at the Wyndham Grand Athens Hotel, an event being staged by energypress for a fourth time. Conference speakers and attendees will participate in person.

Speakers at the event will include Greek energy minister Kostas Skrekas; the energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou; secretary-general of transport at the ministry of infrastructure and transport Ioannis Xifaras; RAE (Regulatory Authority for Energy) president Athanasios Dagoumas; EFET’s (European Federation of Energy Traders) Jerome Le Page; Tomás Llobet of European Energy Retailers (EER); two former Greek energy ministers, Giannis Maniatis and Giorgos Stathakis; Sokratis Famellos, a member of the main opposition leftist Syriza party; and Haris Doukas of the PASOK-KINAL socialist party.

Other conference participants will include power grid operator IPTO’s chief executive officer Manos Manousakis and his deputy Giannis Margaris; gas grid operator DESFA’s chief executive Maria Rita Galli; RES market operator DAPEEP’s president and CEO Giannis Giarentis; distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO’s chief executive Anastasios Manos; EDEYEP (Hellenic Hydrocarbons and Energy Resources Management Company) president Aristofanis Stefatos; the Hellenic Energy Exchange’s newly appointed CEO Alexandros Papageorgiou; EDA THESS general manager and EDA ATTIKI CEO Leonidas Bakouras; the Greek prime minister’s special adviser for energy Nikos Tsafos; energy ministry adviser Theodoros Tsakiris; and energy markets guru Alex Papalexopoulos.

The academic community will be represented by professors Pantelis Kapros, Stavros Papathanasiou, Pantelis Biskas, Nikolaos Hatziargyriou and Antonis Metaxas.

As always, energy-sector authorities will also participate at the event. They include Loukas Dimitriou (ESAI/HAIPP – Hellenic Association of Independent Power Producers); Antonis Kontoleon (EVIKEN – Association of Industrial Energy Consumers); Giannis Mitropoulos and Miltos Aslanoglou (ESPEN – Greek Energy Suppliers Association); Irodotos Antonopoulos (ESEPIE – Hellenic Association of Electricity Trading & Supply Companies); Panagiotis Lostarakos and Panagiotis Papastamatiou (ELETAEN – Greek Wind Energy Association); Stelios Loumakis (SPEF – Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Energy Producers); and Stelios Psomas (SEF/HELAPCO – Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Companies).

Key sector entrpreneurs and executives who have so far confirmed their participation include: Ioannis Kalafatas (Mytilineos); Kyriakos Kofinas (PPC); Nikolaos Zahariadis (Elpedison); Anastasios Lostarakos (NRG); Dinos Nikolaou (Energean); Kostis Sifnaios (Gastrade); Nikolaos Satras (Dioryga Gas); Panos Nikou (Volterra); and Ioannis Kokkotos (ABB).

The forum’s full agenda will be finalized and announced in the coming days.

Windfall tax sum for electricity producers trimmed to €340m

A sum of just over 340 million euros stands to be collected by the State through an extraordinary 90 percent windfall tax imposed on electricity producers for excess earnings between October, 2021 and June, 2022, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has been informed following processing of all related data by chartered accountants.

This amount is less than an initial sum of 373.5 million euros that had been estimated, based on an inspection of preliminary data.

Most of this 33.5 million-euro discrepancy concerns power utility PPC, which will be required to pay a windfall tax that is 31 million euros less than an initial estimate of 276 million euros, now reduced to 245 million euros for this company.

The country’s privately run electricity producers, Mytilineos, Elpedison and Heron, will need to pay an additional sum of 1.2 million euros for this windfall tax, based on the processing of finalized data.

The extraordinary tax measure imposed on electricity producers for the aforementioned nine-month period will, based on current market conditions, not need to be extended.

A major de-escalation in wholesale electricity prices over recent months has greatly reduced revenues amassed by electricity producers and also lessened subsidy support needs for residential electricity consumption.


No major natural gas market share changes in 2022

Smaller players gained some ground in the natural gas market in 2022, attracting a few thousand customers from more dominant rivals, but the overall picture essentially remained unchanged, gas distribution company data examined by energypress has shown.

Retail gas supplier Aerio Attikis (Fysiko Aerio) moved up to top spot in the business category, capturing a market share of 38.3 percent, followed by Zenith with 37.9 percent and Mytilineos with 4.8 percent, data showed.

As for the household category, Zenith remained the market leader with a 51.3 percent market share, but did end 2022 having lost some customers. Aerio Attikis (Fysiko Aerio) was ranked second with 25.7 percent and Mytilineos was third with 4.5 percent. Elpedison, ranked fourth, increase its market share to 4.4 percent in 2022 from 3.7 percent the previous year.

Heron, ranked fifth in the household category, also gained customers, up from 16,728 in 2021 to 22,151 in 2022, boosting its market share from 3 percent to 3.9 percent.

In another noteworthy development, power utility PPC made a dynamic entry into the retail gas market, amassing 21,821 household customers by the end of 2022 for a market share of 3.9 percent.

Zenith ended 2022 as the overall market leader for natural gas supply to the industrial, business and household sectors, combined, with a 34.4 percent market share. Aerio Attikis (Fysiko Aerio) followed with a market share of 30.4 percent, while Mytilineos was ranked third with a combined market share of 12.6 percent.

Mytilineos was ranked first for gas supply to industrial consumers in 2022, capturing a 30.8 percent market share, followed by Heron with 22.9 percent and Aerio Attikis (Fysiko Aerio) with 16.3 percent.


Elpedison set to finalize decision for Thessaloniki CCGT

Helleniq Energy, formerly ELPE, and Edison are close to finalizing an investment decision for the co-development, by their Elpedison partnership, of an 826-MW CCGT, or gas-fueled power station, in Thessaloniki.

Elpedison’s shareholders are expected to reach an investment decision for the 826-MW CCGT in May, sources have informed. Preliminary work linked to this project has already begun at Helleniq Energy’s refineries.

This prospective CCGT was one of the first new-generation projects to have been licensed by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, back in 2019. However, despite the time that has since elapsed, the partnership’s shareholders had held back on an investment decision.

The country’s decarbonization plan, and its scope, was one issue that troubled company shareholders,

The Elpedison CCGT is fully licensed in terms of environmental, town planning and other requirements.

Despite its early licensing, other CCGT projects of the same class have jumped ahead and are already being developed in various parts of Greece.

The Mytilineos group has already launched an 826-MW CCGT in Agios Nikolaos, Viotia, northwest of Athens. GEK TERNA and Motor Oil have joined forces for an 877-MW Thermoilektriki Komotinis gas-fueled power station. More recently, power utility PPC, DEPA Commercial and Damco Energy reached an investment decision to develop an 840-MW gas-fueled facility in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece.


Grid-injection limit proposals for RES, storage units face opposition

Renewable energy associations and producers, taking part in a consultation procedure staged by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, have rejected a proposal for universal grid-injection restrictions on RES facilities and energy storage units, instead calling for a plan offering greater flexibility.

ESIAPE, the Greek Association of Renewable Energy Source Electricity Producers, rejected a proposal for grid-injection restrictions, noting their imposition would come as an outdated and unsubstantiated move. The association has proposed more focused, demand-related restrictions, rather than universal ones, as the only viable solution that would minimize the loss of RES production.

The Mytilineos energy group also sees definite advantages in focused, demand-related restrictions as they could be applied in real time as well as on a localized basis.

SEF/HELAPCO, the Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Companies, was one of many consultation participants who also spoke out against proposed universal, permanent grid-injection restrictions on energy storage units.

The association noted these restrictions would impact the financial feasibility of energy storage systems, adding that, by definition, these systems are meant to optimize grid infrastructure and the network and should not face restrictions.


PPC retail electricity market share at 63.3% in December

Power utility PPC’s captured a retail electricity market share of 63.29 percent in December, followed by the Mytilineos group’s Protergia, at 7.6 percent, Heron, at 7.03 percent, and Elpedison, at 6.09 percent, a latest report published by the Hellenic Energy Exchange has shown.

Day-ahead market prices in December rose 22 percent, averaging 276 euros per MWh compared to 227 euros per MWh in November, while electricity demand increased to 4,488 GWh from 4,109 GWh, the Energy Exchange data showed.

As for December’s energy mix, natural gas-fueled electricity captured the greatest share, 37 percent, followed by renewables, at 24 percent, electricity imports, at 19 percent, lignite-fired generation, at 15 percent, and hydropower, at 3 percent.

PPC’s ENEL Romania takeover talks at price under local standards

Power utility PPC appears to have reached an advanced stage in its negotiations with Italy’s ENEL for the acquisition of the latter’s Romanian subsidiary ENEL Romania, the various aspects of the deal said to be at price levels well below Greek market standards.

PPC’s offer for ENEL Romania’s retail division, for example, totaling approximately three million customers, results in a price of less than 90 euros per customer, which is less than half than the cost of recent corresponding acquisitions completed in the Greek market.

Mytilineos’ acquisition of Watt+Volt, an energy supplier with a portfolio numbering 200,000 customers, was worth 36 million euros, or 180 euros per customer.

The ENEL Romania deal’s price concerning networks is also being negotiated at a price level well below the cost of corresponding acquisitions recently completed in Greece. The price paid by Australia’s Macquarie for a 49 percent stake in Greek distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO works out to 20 percent over the level being discussed between PPC and ENEL for ENEL Romania’s networks.

The same goes for the Romanian subsidiary’s renewable energy division. For example, Motor Oil acquired ELTECH Anemos for a figure twelve times its EBITDA, whereas the Romanian subsidiary’s RES portfolio is being negotiated at a price level of less than ten times its EBITDA.

PPC is negotiating a full acquisition of ENEL Romania for a takeover promising to expand the Greek utility’s interests in the Balkans, with the region’s fastest-growing economy as a base.


Turbine installed at GEK TERNA-Motor Oil gas-fueled power station

A Siemens HL-class gas turbine, the first to be used in Greece, has been installed at a prospective 877-MW state-of-the-art combined cycle, gas-fueled power station being developed by GEK-TERNA and Motor Oil Hellas in Komotini, northeastern Greece, planned to be launched in early 2024, Motor Oil Hellas has announced.

The project, Thermoilektriki Komotinis, an investment estimated to be worth 375 million euros, promises to be one of the most efficient power plants in Greece. Once operational, it will emit 75 percent less CO2 than lignite-fired power plants.

Thermoilektriki Komotinis is the second gas-fueled power station that has undergone development in Greece over recent years, following the construction, by the Mytilineos group, of an 825-MW unit in Viotia, northwest of Athens, whose commercial launch is imminent.

Construction of a third gas-fueled power station, in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, as a joint venture by power utility PPC, gas utility DEPA and the Copelouzos group, is scheduled to officially commence this Saturday.

The country requires at least three additional power stations to secure energy sufficiency, according to a recent study conducted by power grid operator IPTO for 2025 to 2035.

Mid-voltage market competition strong in ’22, PPC market share contracts

Competition between electricity suppliers in the mid-voltage category was, contrary to the low-voltage category, intense in 2022, as highlighted by the significant market share contraction of power utility PPC, down to 36.01 percent in November after starting the year at 42.36 percent, in the mid-voltage category.

The overwhelming majority of companies in Greece belong to the mid-voltage category. Besides reduced electricity usage in the second half of the year, the significant drop in electricity demand in the mid-voltage category may also be attributed to company closures during the energy crisis.

A gainer, Mytilineos’ mid-voltage market share increased to 16.61 percent in November, up from 13.48 percent in January.

Heron also achieved a mid-voltage market share increase, reaching 14.78 percent in November from 12.39 percent in January.

Elpedison’s market share in this category rose marginally to 6.96 percent from 6.66 percent over the eleven-month period.

NRG’s share fell to 9.06 percent from 9.41 percent. Elsewhere, Watt & Volt’s share slipped to 0.84 percent from 0.89 percent, Fysiko Aerio’s share rose to 4.87 percent from 3.47 percent, Volterra’s share increased to 7.09 percent from 6.22 percent. Zenith’s share contracted to 0.40 percent from 0.62 percent, as did Volton’s share, to 0.5 percent from 0.78 percent.

Market share figures remained relatively stable in the low-voltage category between January and November, as highlighted by the marginal change in the market share of power utility PPC, the main player, from 64.53 percent in January to 64.32 percent in November.

Mytilineos’ market share in the low-voltage category fell marginally to 6.34 percent from 6.47 percent. Heron experienced a rise to 6.39 percent from 6.01 percent. Elpedison’s market share slid to 4.92 percent from 5.10 percent and NRG’s share rose to 4.36 percent from 3.77 percent.




Electricity demand falls again, sliding 9.87 percent

Electricity demand has recorded a new overall reduction, falling 9.87 percent in November, latest monthly market data published by power grid operator IPTO has shown.

The biggest reduction, 11.9 percent, or 395 GWh, was recorded on the mainland grid. Demand through the Cretan grid interconnection fell by 10 GWh, while demand recorded by high-voltage consumers dropped by 8 GWh, or 1.4 percent, the IPTO data showed.

Power utility PPC increased its share of the electricity market to 61.14 percent, up from 56.51 percent in the previous month, according to the IPTO data.

Mytilineos captured a market share of 8.74 percent, down from 12.89 percent. Heron followed with a market share of 7.25 percent, from 7.46 percent. Elpedison was next with 6.31 percent from 6.51 percent, followed by NRG, at 4.64 percent from 4.71 percent, Fysiko Aerio at 2.4 percent from 2.33 percent, Volterra at 2.12 percent from 2.36 percent, Watt & Volt at 2 percent from 1.91 percent; Zenith at 1.98 percent from 1.84 percent, Volton at 1.01 percent from 1.03 percent and the remainder of companies at 2.40 percent from 2.45 percent.


Mytilineos highlights energy cost woes faced by industry

Leading industrialist Evangelos Mytilineos, chairman and CEO of the Mytilineos group, has pointed out the energy-cost challenges faced by group member Aluminium of Greece ahead of its expiring electricity supply agreement with power utility PPC.

The power utility has already made clear it cannot continue offering favorable electricity supply agreements to industrial consumers, especially under the current market conditions.

Aluminium of Greece’s electricity supply agreement with PPC expires in 2023. Other energy-intensive industries are also under pressure to resolve their energy-cost issues. For some, the problem is even more acute as their supply agreements with PPC end at the end of this year.

PPC, in negotiations with industrial consumers, has remained adamant on its position, insisting it cannot keep offering favorable terms, especially given the adverse market conditions and a current wholesale market model that  severely restricts profit margins of electricity producers and transfers excess revenues to the Energy Transition Fund for financing of household support measures.

In response, the government is now looking for solutions that would offer incentive for power purchase agreements (PPAs) between renewable energy producers and industrial enterprises, the objective being to ease the energy-cost burden on industries.

Energy minister Kostas Skrekas recently sat in at a meeting staged by SEV, the Hellenic Association of Industrialists, which called for urgent action that could resolve the energy cost concerns faced by industrial enterprises.


Four LNG shipments planned for Revythoussa terminal in January

Four LNG shipments totaling 443,130 cubic meters are scheduled to be delivered to gas grid operator DESFA’s LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens, in January, a quantity that is roughly half the amount planned for this month.

More specifically, for January, the Mytilineos group has ordered an LNG shipment of 147,710 cubic meters, gas utility DEPA has placed an order for 73,855 cubic meters, Elpedison has ordered 147,710 cubic meters and Swiss company KOLMAR has ordered an LNG shipment of 73,855 cubic meters.



Energy firms want DAM non-compliance fee formula reviewed

Consultation staged by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, on a formula determining a non-compliance fee for unlawful submission of sales orders in the day-ahead market for 2023 has prompted reaction from energy companies, fearing excessive penalties.

A formula proposed by the Energy Exchange is particularly strict, the Mytilineos group has commented, as it uses the average day-ahead market (DAM) clearing price for the day when the unlawful submission of a sale order by a production unit has taken place.

As price levels in the day-ahead market have increased significantly this year and are currently at 280 euros per MWh, the Energy Exchange’s proposed formula would lead to non-compliance charges worth hundreds of thousands of euros.

Power utility PPC, another participant in RAE’s consultation procedure, also believes the formula proposed by the Energy Exchange results in an excessive non-compliance fee. It has called for a review and implementation of tiered charges.


Greek energy market attracting major interest at London roadshow

Foreign funds are expressing major investment interest in Greece’s renewable energy market as well as the country’s plan for green energy transportation from the Middle East, while major international energy groups appear extremely interested in Greek upstream developments and the ongoing transformation of Greece as a natural gas hub, a series of one-on-one and group meetings between highly ranked officials of Greek energy groups and international investors have highlighted following the first day of a roadshow in London.

The London event, co-organized by the Athens bourse and Morgan Stanley, has already indicated that 2023 could be a bumper year for foreign investments in Greece’s energy sector.

Of 29 Greek companies taking part in the road show, ten hail from the energy sector, a representation highlighting the strong international investment interest in Greece’s energy market.

Power grid operator IPTO’s ADMIE Holdings, Cenergy, Ellaktor, Elvalhalcor, Helleniq Energy, Motor Oil, Mytilineos, PPC, TERNA and Viohalko, the ten Greek energy groups taking part, will hold further meetings with investors today. These sessions could lay the foundations for new deals.

Over 300 meetings are scheduled to take place at the London event. Many of these will purely focus on energy matters.


Local energy firms hedging in European Energy Exchange

An increasing number of energy companies in Greece are opting to hedge through the European Energy Exchange (EEX) and the derivatives market as a means of monitoring and countering risks prompted by strong price fluctuations and volatility in markets.

Most recently, the Mytilineos group registered with the European Energy Exchange, joining Protergia, the group’s energy supply company, which was already a member. Two major energy companies are set to follow suit, energypress sources informed.

The liquidity of the European Energy Exchange, combined with the security offered by a range of its products, allows participants to hedge their exposure to the markets and, therefore, reduce their risk ratio to sustainable levels.

Given that the EEX is a market leader in power derivatives, it offers significant opportunities to participants, as they can trade in 20 markets in addition to the Greek market, which currently has specific limits and restricted liquidity.

At present, the EEX includes 13 Greek participants, the majority trading in the producer market and 4 in the spot market, while two more new registrations are expected to be announced within the next few days.


Electricity demand falls for fourth consecutive month

Electricity demand in the household and business categories fell for a fourth consecutive month in October, plunging 9.25 percent compared to the equivalent month a year earlier, power grid operator IPTO’s monthly report has shown.

This downward trend highlights the efforts being made by anxious consumers to keep their energy costs down. At this rate, Greece appears to be on target to achieve the country’s energy-saving goals.

Electricity demand had fallen 3.27 percent in September, 13.17 percent in August, and 11.78 percent in July.

In terms of quantity, electricity demand fell to 3,604 GWh last month from 3,971 GWh in October, 2021, according to the IPTO report.

Domestic electricity production also dropped sharply last month, falling 22.94 percent compared to October, 2021, to 3,155 GWh.

Market shares of electricity retailers also changed. Power power PPC’s market share dropped below 60 percent for the first time in months, reaching 56.73 percent, down from 60.81 percent in September.

Protergia, a member of the Mytilineos group, gained from PPC’s loss, its market share climbing, for a second consecutive month, to 12.88 percent from 8.77 percent in September.

Heron maintained third place with a 7.31 percent market share, followed by Elpedison (6.50%), NRG (4.66%), Fysiko Aerio (2.32%), Volterra (2.29%), Watt & Volt (1.93%), Zenith (1.87%) and Volton (1.04%).



Revythoussa LNG slot prices soar, driven by Balkan exports

Driven by LNG export potential to Bulgaria and the wider eastern European region, energy companies have submitted bids of between 3.5 and 4 million euros for slots at gas grid operator DESFA’s LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens.

These bids, made at an ongoing DESFA auction offering slots for the next four years, are roughly three-and-a-half times higher than price levels recorded last year.

Two Bulgarian companies, Bulgargaz and Kolmar, as well as Greece’s power utility PPC and Motor Oil, were the winning bidders at the auction’s session yesterday, securing four of eight Revythoussa slots offered. The other four slots are expected to be taken by bidders today.

Earlier in the week, on Monday, gas company DEPA secured eight slots for 4 TWh, Mytilineos secured five slots for 5 TWh, as did and Bulgaria’s MET.

Greece’s recent transformation as a strategic gas exporter for the wider region has prompted a surge in demand for slots at the Revythoussa LNG terminal.

During the year’s first nine-month period, the country’s gas exports increased by 293 percent, representing over 20 TWh. Bulgaria was the main recipient. Greece has been covering the neighboring country’s gas needs for some months now, following natural gas pipeline disruptions from Russia.


Minor retail electricity market share changes in target model era

The domestic introduction, just under two years ago, of the target model, aiming to integrate the wholesale electricity markets of all EU member states, has brought about little change in the market shares of suppliers.

Power utility PPC’s retail market share has contracted by just over 4 percent, from 66.33 percent in November, 2020, to 62.01 percent in September, 2022, a loss unequally divided between independent suppliers.

In September, 2022, PPC’s retail market share fell to 62.01 percent from 64.41 percent a month earlier, while, during the same period, the collective market share of independent suppliers increased from 35.59 percent to 37.99 percent.

During this one-month period, HERON rose to second place among the independent electricity suppliers with a market share of 6.8 percent, behind Protergia, a member of the Mytilineos group, whose market share rose to 8.65 percent in September from 7.2 percent in August.

Elpedison dropped to third place among the independent suppliers with a 6.54 percent share in September, a marginal rise from 6.49 percent in August.

NRG, which is ranked fourth among the independent suppliers, also experienced a marginal increase in its market share to 4.76 percent from 4.7 percent, as did fifth-placed Aerio Attikis, reaching 2.34 percent from 2.13 percent.

Debate, amid the energy crisis, is still going strong about the rules for consumer switches from one electricity supplier to another. An increased number of consumers are leaving behind unpaid electricity bills when switching suppliers, fresh market data has shown, prompting a supplier association to call for restrictions.