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.

Zero electricity subsidies for high-level usage considered

Electricity subsidies for high-level usage could be greatly reduced, even zeroed out, in February as a result of recent Eurogroup pressure applied on Greece for revisions to the country’s subsidy model.

Energy minister Kostas Skrekas, admittedly working his way through an extremely busy schedule this week, has delayed announcing electricity subsidy levels for next month, suggesting revisions cannot be ruled out.

Subsidies are revised monthly, depending on nominal retail tariffs for each forthcoming month announced by suppliers on the 20th of each preceding month.

One thing for certain, the government’s electricity subsidies for low-voltage consumers will be reduced in February as a result of a sharp drop in wholesale electricity prices.

Subsidies will not need to exceed 5 to 6 cents per KWh to ensure retail power prices are contained at a level of between 14 and 16 cents per KWh, the government’s goal.

Power utility PPC, the dominant retail player whose monthly nominal tariffs subsequently shape electricity subsidies set by the state, has announced a nominal tariff rate of 19.9 cents per KWh for monthly household electricity consumption of up to 500 KWh in February, 60 percent below the utility’s nominal retail price for January.

Energy ministry officials are believed to even be considering zero subsidies for high-level consumers, though it is still unclear whether this category would be defined as monthly consumption exceeding 500 KWh or 1,000 KWh.

For some time now, the European Commission has applied pressure on Greece to revise its electricity subsidies model, applied universally. Brussels has called for a two-tier system benefiting lower-level electricity consumption.

Green bilateral deals platform combined with industry PPAs

An energy exchange platform for green energy bilateral agreements is planned to operate in tandem with power purchase agreements (PPAs) for industry. RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, will, as a next step leading to this prospect, forward to the Energy Exchange comments accumulated through a related consultation procedure.

Authorities need to decide which of three platform alternatives will be adopted. One of the three options included in the consultation procedure is believed to have been rejected by all participants.

The aim is to bring together a platform for green energy bilateral agreements with another being developed by the energy ministry to facilitate PPAs for industrial consumers in place of supply agreements they held, until recently, with PPC, the power utility.

Prospective legislation to exempt bilateral contracts involving physical delivery from caps on fees for all electricity producers in wholesale electricity spot markets is central to the effort.

This exemption will enable RES producers to be remunerated at the market clearing price. Otherwise, electricity purchases and sales made through the Energy Exchange would not be able to take place at price levels agreed to between buyers and sellers.

Lower wholesale prices drive down February subsidy requirement

Electricity subsidies for low-voltage, household consumption in February will be set at between 5 and 6 cents per KWh, offered by the government to ensure retail power prices are contained at a level of between 14 and 16 cents per KWh.

Energy minister Kostas Skrekas is expected to announce February’s subsidy level during the week, possibly tomorrow.

This subsidy handout, far smaller compared to the previous month, and the lowest since the start of the government’s new subsidy strategy – launched last August with levels revised monthly based on nominal retail tariffs announced by suppliers for each forthcoming month by the 20th of each preceding month – has been made possible by lower wholesale electricity prices.

This price dip comes as great relief for the Energy Transition Fund, financially supporting the electricity subsidies offered to consumers, and the state budget, chipping in whenever required.

Power utility PPC, the dominant retail player whose monthly nominal tariffs subsequently shape electricity subsidies set by the state, has just announced a nominal tariff rate of 19.9 cents per KWh for monthly household electricity consumption of up to 500 KWh in February, 60 percent below the utility’s nominal retail price for January.

As a result, subsidies of between 5 and 6 cents per KWh will suffice to keep retail tariffs at 14 to 16 cents per KWh, the government’s target. Subsidies of 34 cents per KWh were needed in January to contain tariffs at the government’s desired level.

Money to be drawn from the ETF money for February’s subsidy effort should not exceed 60 to 70 million euros, well below the sum of 800 million euros required for January.

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.

 

February power tariffs to be lowered, conditions favorable

Sliding electricity prices on the energy exchange, since mid-January, and the continuing drop in natural gas prices at the TTF index are creating favorable conditions for lower retail electricity prices.

A first retail market sign of these improved conditions is expected tomorrow, when suppliers post their February prices based on a recently introduced market rule requiring them to announce their prices for each forthcoming month by the 20th of the previous month.

Suppliers are expected to drop their nominal price levels for next month as low as 0.20 to 0.25 euros per KWh, not including anticipated state subsidies.

According to sources, power utility PPC, the dominant market player, is not prepared to drop its retail electricity price so low for next month, but it will offer a significant cut on its January offer.

Once retail electricity prices for February are out, the energy ministry will set subsidies so that finalized retail prices drop to a level of 0.09 euros per KWh.

The day-ahead market’s average price for electricity has set a new low, falling, today, to 58.44 euros per MWh, from 204.40 euros per MWh just days ago. It should be noted that suppliers take into account a broader time period when calculating their prices for each forthcoming month.

The TTF gas index has also plunged in recent weeks to levels of between 55 and 60 euros per MWh, well below levels of 150 euros per MWh in December.

 

PPC takeover of ENEL Romania could be just weeks away

Power utility PPC, currently conducting due diligence for its planned acquisition of Italian energy group ENEL’s Romanian subsidiary ENEL Romania, has completed about 70 percent of the procedure, without issues, and could strike a deal within the next two to four weeks.

If the two sides do reach an agreement, PPC will fully acquire the Italian group’s Romanian subsidiary, a big move facilitating the Greek utility’s plan for expansion into the Balkan energy market with Romania, the region’s fastest growing economy, as a base.

An agreement between PPC and ENEL Romania would offer the former full control of ENEL Romania’s assets, regardless of the subsidiary’s varying stakes in network, supply and RES projects, ranging from 51 to 100 percent. ENEL holds the managerial rights to all its ventures in Romania, also included in the sale.

PPC officials have ruled out any chance of also expressing interest in ENEL’s interests in the Greek market. Asset prices in the Greek market greatly exceed those in Balkan markets, they explained.

An ENEL Romania deal would offer PPC three million customers in Romania as an addition to the company’s five million existing customers in Greece.

It would also offer PPC access to rich natural gas deposits in the Black Sea, while a Romanian venture would be supplied favorably-priced LNG arriving at Greek ports – currently via the Revythoussa islet terminal just off Athens and, in the near future, through a prospective FSRU at Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece.

New NECP foresees big rise in pumped storage stations by ’30

Construction of new pumped storage stations and an increase in battery installations are fundamental to the updated National Energy and Climate Plan’s target for greater RES representation in the country’s energy mix by the end of this decade.

The revised NECP, presented yesterday at the Interministerial Committee, includes a higher RES target of 28 GW and an increased energy storage target, for all technologies, to 8 GW by 2030.

A news conference covering the revised NECP’s details may be staged tomorrow.

The new NECP envisages pumped storage stations with a total capacity of 700 MW by 2030, through two power utility PPC facilities at Sfikia and Thisavros in the country’s north.

TERNA Energy has also planned a 680-MW pumped-storage facility in Amfilohia, northwestern Greece, whose completion would take the country’s capacity for this technology to 1,380 MW.

The 8-GW energy storage target set by the new NECP will require battery installations of more than 5 GW.

The new NECP will aim for a balanced approach between a RES capacity increase and energy savings. An energy consumption reduction of 6.2 percent, compared to 2020, has been set.

PPC talks for first PPAs with industries concern thermal-green mix

Power utility PPC’s ongoing negotiations with two energy-intensive industries for power purchase agreements (PPAs) entail ten-year electricity supply agreements at fixed prices, beginning with supply through thermal (lignite and gas) power stations for the first two or so years followed by RES-generated electricity, exclusively, for the rest of the agreement’s term, sources have informed.

According to latest information, metal manufacturer Viohalco and cement and building materials producer TITAN, the country’s two most energy-intensive industries, now without energy supply agreements as their previous deals expired at the beginning of the year, are the two industries discussing PPAs with PPC.

The power utility and the two energy-intensive industries are believed to now be discussing the fine details of prospective PPAs.

Any breakdown in these PPA talks is regarded as highly unlikely as the prospect of energy-cost stability over a ten-year period, at times of intense market volatility, is extremely appealing for the energy-intensive industries involved in the talks.

Indexation clause termination leads to higher nominal prices

Though consumers have benefited from tolerable electricity tariffs over the last six months, courtesy of subsidies, the termination of indexation clauses in electricity bills has led to inflated nominal charges as tariffs incorporate the risk suppliers need to take when predicting the next month’s wholesale price levels ten days in advance.

New market rules introduced last August require suppliers to set and announce their electricity tariffs for each forthcoming month by the 20th of the preceding month.

The risk faced by suppliers through this new retail electricity market model has driven their nominal tariffs 20 percent higher, on average, compared to the previous system of floating tariffs with indexation clauses, triggered whenever wholesale prices exceeded certain limits.

Had the indexation clauses been maintained, power utility PPC, the dominant market player, would have recorded an average nominal retail price of 40.86 cents per KWh for the past six months, 28 percent below its average of 52.25 cents per KWh under the new system requiring the company to forecast wholesale price levels for each forthcoming month.

Market officials, including ESPEN, the Greek Energy Suppliers Association, had warned the new market model requiring wholesale electricity price forecasting would push up nominal retail prices, especially during times of market volatility, as is the case at present.

 

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.

PPC aims to launch pivotal Ptolemaida V unit in March

Power utility PPC is aiming to launch its new and pivotal Ptolemaida V power station, a 660-MW facility undergoing a final stage of trial runs, by late March.

Trial runs at Ptolemaida V were interrupted by technical issues that arose in December, but the facility is expected to resume operating around January 22 for continual tests over a one-and-a-half-month period before its full-scale commercial launch.

This facility, to initially operate as a low-emitting lignite-fired power station before eventually converting to natural gas, promises to greatly contribute to the grid’s energy sufficiency.

If this winter’s weather conditions deteriorate and prompt a spike in energy demand, the energy sufficiency effort will greatly depend on PPC’s lignite reserves amassed at its lignite-fired power stations.

PPC has accumulated roughly three million tons of lignite at its lignite-fired power stations, close to its target of 3.5 million tons.

The power utility’s current lignite quantity would suffice to keep its lignite-fired power stations, seven in total, running continuously over one month, PPC officials noted.

PPC is aiming to double its overall lignite-fired electricity production this year, from 5 TWh to 10 TWh.

 

PPC negotiating long-term PPAs with 3 industrial players

Power utility PPC is holding talks with two, possibly three, industrial players for new electricity supply agreements in the form of long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) of up to ten years following the expiry, on January 1, of high-voltage supply deals.

PPC and the industrial enterprises involved in these negotiations are currently discussing the details of terms and fixed price levels, sources informed.

The energy ministry’s intention to exempt electricity producers from a wholesale electricity market cap, as long as they have established PPAs with energy-intensive consumers for physical delivery of power quantities, has served as a catalyst for the ongoing negotiations.

Energy minister Kostas Skrekas is awaiting the European Commission’s approval for this exemption.

The industrial players discussing prospective PPAs with PPC cannot fully cover their energy needs through their own electricity production facilities, sources noted.

The current energy crisis highlights the energy-price volatility risk faced by industrial players and the importance of fixed electricity prices for stability and security to their operations, officials pointed out.

PPAs promise to offer industries energy-cost stability during times of great uncertainty, they added.

 

PPC limit on bilateral contract power supply relaxed to 30%

Power utility PPC will be able to offer up to 30 percent of overall electricity quantities supplied to customers through bilateral contracts in 2023, up from 20 percent in 2022, according to a decision reached by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

RAE, prior to relaxing this limit imposed on PPC, had asked the Energy Hellenic Exchange for an updated study on the prospect of a rate increase for PPC and the impact this move would have.

The Energy Hellenic Exchange commissioned Ecco International, a global energy consulting and software company, to conduct the study, which decided that a cap of between 20 and 30 percent on PPC would be appropriate.

This decision takes into account RES limitations and wholesale market irregularities that fail to produce clearing prices that accurately reflect short-term generation costs.

 

PPC plans to convert idle Kardia units into modern capacitors

Power utility PPC has decided to convert the generators of units III and IV at its Kardia power facility into modern capacitors to provide reactive power regulation, voltage support and power supply services to the system.

According to a tender prepared for this EPC/turn-key project, the conversion is planned to be ready for its commercial launch 15 months following the signing of a contract with the winning bidder.

PPC’s decision to convert the Kardia power generators to modern capacitors is in line with an international trend where conventional power plants are being decommissioned and RES installation capacities continue to increase, the power utility explained.

Large modern generators of conventional power plants that are being idled can remain extremely useful to the power system by being converted into modern capacitors, thereby continuing to provide important support to the country’s power system and grid quality.

More specifically, the intended uses of these capacitors include short circuit power enhancement in weak grids, synchronous inertial response, and grid fault ride-through capability.

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.

 

Two major energy deals promise to reshape Greek market in 2023

Two major deals expected to be struck early in 2023, barring surprise developments, namely Greek power utility PPC’s acquisition of ENEL Romania and Australian fund First Sentier’s takeover of TERNA Energy, promise to further internationalize the Greek energy market, reshaping it in the years to come through new opportunities and balances.

PPC’s completion of an agreement for ENEL Romania, a potential acquisition said to be worth between 1.3 and 1.4 billion euros, would open up the Balkans for the Greek utility and greatly increase the corporation’s size. ENEL Romania is roughly half the current size of PPC.

PPC and ENEL Romania’s parent company ENEL have signed a confidentiality agreement for exclusive negotiations ahead of due diligence.

As for TERNA Energy, the Australian fund First Sentier is believed to have completed its due diligence in November and reached a takeover agreement worth 2.34 billion euros.

According to sources, the Australian fund is now working on a financing agreement with Greek banks before finalizing the agreement.

If TERNA Energy’s share is sold at 22 euros, then the agreement with First Sentier could exceed 2.5 billion euros.

TERNA Energy’s investment plan for 2022-2029 is valued at 5.9 billion euros and includes additional RES installations of 5.5 GW, from 895 MW at present, the objective being to increase annual EBITDA to more than 700 million euros.

 

Trial run of PPC’s Ptolemaida V reaches full capacity

Power utility PPC’s new, state-of-the-art Ptolemaida V power station has entered the final stage of its pre-launch tests. The facility is now injecting electricity into the grid, gradually boosting its input since early December without technical issues.

The new PPC facility was injecting electricity amounts of approximately 300 MW, nearly half its 660-MW capacity, by mid-December, before increasing its grid input to 450 MW last week, and has begun offering levels of as much as 616 MW since December 18.

As is standard practice, internationally, such new facilities undergo three phases of trial tests, the first undertaken by the project’s developer, in this case GEK TERNA.

Ptolemaida V, a project budgeted at over 1.4 billion euros, is expected to be ready for a full-scale launch by the end of February. It will initially operate as a low-emitting lignite-fired power station before eventually converting to natural gas.

PPC ‘transforming rapidly, entering natural gas, LNG market’

Power utility PPC’s participation at the 22nd World LNG Summit indicates the energy group is transforming rapidly, on many levels, one of these being its involvement in natural gas and LNG markets, Konstantinos Nazos, PPC’s General Director of Energy Management, has pointed out in comments to energypress.

“It is a very interesting conference and I think the fact that it is being held in Athens highlights the role that our country has to play in the future in terms of LNG and, more generally, electricity supply security in the wider region,” Nazos noted.

Energy security, in relation to sustainability and cost-effectiveness of solutions, is the most challenging matter that needs to be resolved, the PPC official determined, having heard summit speeches and held meetings during this event.

“We are still close to the crisis. We have successfully dealt with many risks without having left it behind. We have managed to turn those risks into opportunities and we are looking for more,” Nazos commented.

 

Power retailers set higher January prices, up at least 25%

The country’s electricity suppliers have announced significantly higher household power prices for January, up at least 25 percent compared to December, driven higher by a latest wholesale electricity price surge.

The government is expected to provide electricity subsidies that will bring down January’s retail prices to a level of between 15 and 17 cents per KWh.

A recently introduced domestic market rule requires the country’s electricity retailers to announce their retail prices for each forthcoming month by the 20th of the preceding month.

Power utility PPC, the dominant player, announced a January price level of 48.9 cents per KWh for monthly consumption of up to 500 KWh and 50.01 cents for consumption over this level, a 29 percent increase from December.

Elpedison announced a price of 45 cents per KWh for its Electricity HomeDay package, up from 35 cents in December.

Heron’s January retail price was set at 36 cents per KWh, including a punctuality discount. This supplier’s offer reaches 45 cents per KWh without the discount.

Protergia’s residential MVP Plus offer was set at 44.8 cents per KWh. Watt + Volt’s Zero Plus offer was priced at 45.9 cents per KWh. Fysiko Aerio announced a rate of 35.8 cents per KWh for its MAXI Free BASIC package, a price level including a punctuality discount. Zenith’s January price for its Power Home Basic package is 46.5 cents per KWh. NRG’s offer for its NRG Prime package is 44 cents per KWh.

Volton announced a price of 44.9 cents per KWh. Volterra set its price at 51.8 cents per KWh, while Elin’s rate was set at a standard level of 37.5 cents per KWh, regardless of consumption level.

 

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.

 

PPC takeover of ENEL Romania would establish utility in region

Power utility PPC has entered exclusive talks with Italy’s ENEL for the acquisition of the latter’s portfolio in Romania, a lucrative prospect offering networks in three Romanian regions, three million customers in the country’s retail electricity market, 550 MW in RES projects already operating, as well as 2,000 MW in RES projects at an advanced stage.

Completion of the deal would take PPC to another level and establish it as a regional force in southeast Europe’s energy market.

Market experts have put a price tag of between 1.3 and 1.4 billion euros on the possible deal.

Late last night, PPC and ENEL signed a confidentiality agreement obliging ENEL officials to only discuss a possible deal with PPC, which is conducting due diligence until January 23, in preparation for a deal that appears increasingly likely, as long as the two sides can agree on a price.

ENEL controls Romanian networks in the Muntenia region, surrounding Bucharest, the industrial zone of Timisoara, as well as Dobrota’s tourism section. The three networks offer a total capacity of 16 TWh.

Suppliers, traders reject PPC lignite power packages for ’23

Energy retailers and traders have shunned lignite-fired electricity packages offered by power utility PPC through the energy exchange for the first, second and third quarters of 2023, as part of an antitrust agreement between Greece and the European Commission, energypress sources have informed.

Commenting on the lack of interest in these packages, market analysts noted they were not surprised given the high risk involved and the financial pressure felt by energy retailers as a result of the energy crisis.

The agreement, designed to end PPC’s monopoly in the lignite sector, required the power utility to offer, by October 31, lignite-fired electricity packages for Q1, Q2 and Q3 in 2023, their quantities representing 40 percent of lignite electricity production in the corresponding quarters this year.

According to the agreement, shaped by a legislative revision brought forward by the energy ministry, PPC must also offer lignite-fired electricity packages for Q4 next year by January 31, 2023.

Greece has submitted a request to the European Commission to have the antitrust agreement abolished. If not scrapped, the measure appears set for major revisions.

PPC, Croatia’s KONČAR sign new deal for Mesohora hydropower plant

Power utility PPC has just signed a new agreement with Croatian group KONČAR Elektroindustrija d.d. for development of the first stage of a major-scale hydroelectric power plant at Mesohora, near Trikala in central Greece.

The first phase of the project includes testing and analysis of the power plant’s equipment, as well as preparatory activities for its commissioning.

The KONČAR group, listed on the Zagreb bourse since 2003, is one of Croatia’s biggest business groups and a leading player in the field of production and installation of electrical power equipment. It operates in more than 100 countries.

This is the second agreement to be signed between PPC and KONČAR, following a deal in 1996, at the end of an international tender, for procurement of the required electromechanical equipment to the Mesohora project.

Gordan Kolak, CEO at KONČAR, recalled the agreement with PPC in 1996 was a significant moment for the Croatian company as it came at a time when the firm was seeking to regain entry into international markets following the war in the former Yugoslavia and its ensuing independence for Croatia.

KONČAR’s obligations for the 1996 deal with PPC were completed in 2002. However, legal battles have not enabled PPC to further develop its Mesohora hydroelectric power plant project. During the time that has elapsed, PPC reached an agreement with KONČAR for maintenance of the electromechanical equipment supplied by the Croatian firm.

Subsidies planned to ease industrial energy cost burden

The government’s financial team has decided to subsidize industrial-sector electricity following related arrangements with power utility PPC in response to the latest surge in energy prices, energypress sources have informed.

Electricity prices have risen to 400 euros per MWh and natural gas at the TTF benchmark is up to 135 euros per MWh.

The government’s support funds planned for the industrial sector will be far greater than amounts required to subsidize electricity for households and businesses.

According to estimates, the total cost of industrial electricity in 2023 will reach 1.5 billion euros, assuming prices are at 300 euros per MWh.

Given the energy market’s adverse conditions, government support for industrial energy costs is crucial and will need to be delivered fast.

Supply agreements between PPC and major-scale industries, established prior to the energy crisis, at prices well below current levels, will gradually expire in 2023, within the first half of the year.

 

GEK-TERNA winning bidder for PPC 550-MW solar farm

GEK-TERNA has emerged as the winning bidder in a tender staged by PPC Renewables for the development of a 550-MW solar farm, one of Europe’s biggest, and its interconnection projects in Ptolemaida, northern Greece, at a location where power utility PPC, PPC Renewables’ parent company, has operated a company-owned lignite mine, sources have informed.

GEK-TERNA outbid five participants, METKA, RES INVEST, CMEC, AVAX and AKTOR, for this solar farm contract, a pivotal project for the decarbonization effort in northern Greece’s west Macedonia region, as well as PPC’s dynamic turn towards renewable energy.

Procurement of the project’s panels and all other equipment will be handled by PPC Renewables.

The project’s completion will represent a milestone for PPC’s business plan, foreseeing a rapid increase in installed RES capacity over the next few years.

PPC Renewables, nowadays organizing tenders for such projects at an extremely fast pace, is aiming for an imminent start in the Ptolemaida solar park’s development, so that this investment, worth roughly 280 million euros, can be completed by 2024.

The Ptolemaida solar farm will rank as one of Europe’s biggest. At present, a 626-MW solar power project being developed in central Spain by Solaria Energia is Europe’s biggest.

The Ptolemaida solar farm will more-than-double the capacity of Greece’s biggest such unit at present, a 204-MW solar power plant developed by ELPE in Kozani, northern Greece.

 

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.

 

PPC business plan well received by US, European funds

Power utility PPC’s business plan has been well received by major international funds at a London roadshow co-organized by the Athens bourse and Morgan Stanley and involving 29 Greek companies, ten of which are from the energy sector.

PPC’s administration has held over 30 meetings with American funds such as Sandglass and Manulife, as well as European funds, including the UK’s Senvest, Polygon and TFG Asset management, which were informed on PPC’s business potential. Emphasis was placed on decarbonization, new RES projects, growth prospects in foreign markets, and digitization.

The meetings have included one-on-one meetings between PPC’s chief executive Giorgos Stassis and CEOs of foreign funds, who were offered detailed presentations of PPC’s business plan.

Some of these funds are already familiar with PPC’s activities and objectives, while others have only just begun showing interest, either through thoughts of purchasing company shares or participation in two PPC bond issues, a 775 million-euro bond maturing in 2026 and a 500 million-euro bond maturing in 2028.

PPC, emerging from the energy crisis unscathed and implementing its business plan without deviations, despite the challenging international environment, expects its EBITDA figure this year to reach between 800 and 900 million euros, approximately the same as last year, with a similar or improved performance next year.

PPC’s business plan foresees investments worth 9.3 billion euros over the next four to five years, 55 percent of the investment sum in renewable energy, 20 percent in electricity distribution networks, 7 percent in conventional energy sources, 4 percent in waste-to-energy production, and 3 percent in retail energy.

In geographical terms, 85 percent of PPC’s investments are planned for within Greece, the other 15 percent planned for the Balkans, primarily in Romania and Bulgaria.

PPC plans to invest 2.3 billion euros in 2023, 2.5 billion euros in 2024, 1.7 billion euros in 2025 as well as 2026.

These investments are expected to contribute to Greece’s improved energy self-sufficiency, reducing electricity imports to 10 percent in 2026 from 18 percent in 2020.

 

 

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.