Supreme Court rejects Euroasia case for Crete link control

The Council of State, Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court, appears to have rejected a case filed by Euroasia Interconnector, a consortium of Cypriot interests, challenging the appointment of Greek power grid operator IPTO subsidiary Ariadne as project promoter of a grid interconnection to link Crete with Athens, energypress sources have informed.

Euroasia, heading a consortium formed for a wider PCI-status interconnection project to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli grids, is seeking control of the Crete-Athens segment’s development.

Legal experts believe Euroasia’s challenge will not succeed.

The Cypriot consortium’s Supreme Court move, which opposed the Ariadne subsidiary’s appointment by RAE, Greece’s Regulatory Authority for Energy, followed an unsuccessful legal attempt at the Authority for the Examination of Preliminary Appeals (AEPP).

The Supreme Court’s verdict is crucial as it will determine if ongoing tenders for the development of the Crete-Athens interconnection can continue or not.

Procedures concerning a tender for the project’s transmission stations are progressing and attracting the interest of major developers and suppliers. This tender’s deadline was extended by one month.

The energy ministry, in contact with the European Commission over the matter, has not written off the prospect of a settlement with Euroasia but insists the project’s swift development is the key criterion behind decisions.

Supplying the required capital for a minority stake in Ariadne appears to be the only available option for Euroasia at this stage. However, the Cypriot consortium does not appear willing to take such a route.

Time is running out. Greece has until October 31 to inform a European Commission committee handling the EU’s PCI list if the country will support the Crete-Athens interconnection as part of the wider PCI project or proceed with its development as a national project.

Supreme court to hear Euroasia Crete-Athens case Thursday

The Council of State, Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court, is scheduled to hear a case filed by Euroasia Interconnector – a consortium of Cypriot interests heading a PCI-status grid interconnection project to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli systems – against Greek power grid operator IPTO on September 5.

Euroasia, embroiled in a dispute with IPTO for control of the Greek segment’s development, planned to link Crete with Athens, recently escalated its legal effort following a rejection by AEPP, the Authority for the Examination of Preliminary Appeals.

Commenting on the upcoming hearing, legal sources said they do not expect a favorable verdict for the Euroasia consortium.

Though the deadline of a project tender held by Ariadne Interconnector, an IPTO subsidiary, was given a one-month extension to September 30, procedures are progressing normally, while all major players appear interested, sources told energypress.

IPTO has increased the budget of the Crete-Athens interconnection to 380 million euros from an initial figure of 315 million euros. This 20 percent increase reflects the development cost, taking into account related projects in other parts of Europe as well as a high risk of delay-related costs.

The Crete-Athens interconnection needs to be completed in a 36-month period, far shorter than time periods of between 48 and 72 months offered for equivalent projects, internationally.

The Greek energy ministry has indicated a willingness to cooperate with the Cypriot consortium, making clear the project’s swift development is a pivotal factor behind decisions.

Greece has until October 31 to inform a European Commission committee if the country intends to support the Athens-Crete interconnection as a part of the wider PCI project or as a national project.

Euroasia takes Crete grid link case to supreme court

Euroasia Interconnector, a consortium of Cypriot interests heading a PCI-status grid interconnection to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli systems, has escalated its legal action against Greek power grid operator IPTO amid their dispute for control of the Greek segment’s development, planned to link Crete with Athens.

Euroasia has stepped up its legal action by filing a case to the Council of State, Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court, following a rejection by AEPP, the Authority for the Examination of Preliminary Appeals, reliable sources have informed energypress.

The Cypriot consortium is seeking to have an AEPP verdict overturned, which would disrupt related project tenders currently being held by Ariadne Interconnector, an IPTO subsidiary.

The case is scheduled to be heard on September 5, the sources noted, adding Greek authorities are in the process of making their legal preparations.

The recently appointed Greek energy minister Costis Hatzidakis has already made clear his intentions to not alter the project’s ongoing procedures, while also indicating a willingness for greater cooperation with the Cypriot side.

 

 

PPC takes high court action against flexibility mechanism

The main power utility PPC has filed a case at the Council of State, Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court, in an effort to cancel a transitional CAT mechanism remunerating electricity producers for providing grid flexibility, just days after the staging of an inaugural flexibility auction.

The power utility believes the mechanism is unfavorable for its hydropower and lignite-fired power stations, compared to the benefits offered to natural gas-fueled power stations.

PPC, which expressed its objections against the mechanism in a recent public consultation procedure for the flexibility remuneration plan, has also resorted to the Supreme Court in the past to tackle other temporary CAT mechanisms.

In addition, the power utility has described as unfortunate a decision by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, to establish a flexibility mechanism whose operation is directly linked to the balancing market instead of focused on ensuring that new markets operate in a timely manner and delivering a mechanism to protect energy sufficiency.

Digital meters tender appeal rejected, high court to decide

HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, has rejected an extrajudicial initiave taken by a consortium comprised of OTE, Intrakat and Intrasoft International, the losing bidder of a pilot tender concerning the procurement and installation of an initial lot of 200,000 digital power meters for low-voltage household and small-scale commerical use in various parts of the country.

A final decision is now expected from the Council of State, Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court, following a case filed by the trio against Intracom Telecom, the tender’s winning bidder.

The Supreme Court accepted a legal case filed by OTE-Intrakat-Intrasoft International in March and sought clarification from HEDNO on its decision to delare Intracom Telecom the tender’s winner. Two key issues concern the Council of State. It has sought confirmation from the winning bidder on the inclusion of an option for the procurement and installation of an additional 50,000 digtal power meters besides a basic plan for 160,000 meters. The court has also sought further details as to whether the offer made by the winning bidder is unusually low, as claimed by the losing OTE-Intrakat-Intrasoft International consortium.

Intracom Telecom submitted a 46 million-euro offer to take on the smart meters pilot project, compared to a 62 million-euro offer made by OTE, Intrakat and Intrasoft International.

The pilot tender is being staged as a prelude to the project’s main tender, entailing the procurement and installation of approximately six million digital power meters throughout Greece. This project’s budget is estimated to be worth over one billion euros.

The initial tender is of crucial importance as two technologies, power line carriers and wireless GPRS/3G systems, will be tested ahead of the main tender.

 

 

HEDNO rejects bidding team’s smart meters tender appeal

HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, has rejected a preliminary appeal filed by a team comprised of OTE (Hellenic Telecommunications Organization) Intrakat and Intrasoft International, the losing bidder of a pilot tender offering a contract for the installation of an initial lot of 200,000 smart meters.

The bidding team had filed the preliminary appeal a while ago, but HEDNO’s delay in responding was interpreted as a silent rejection, prompting the trio to file a legal case to the Council of State, Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court, in an effort to have the tender annulled.

This action promises to delay the procedure as a Supreme Court ruling is not expected before February.

If the Supreme Court ends up rejecting the trio’s case, then HEDNO, locally acronymed DEDDIE, will declare Intracom Telecom as the winning bidder.

Intracom Telecom submitted a 46 million-euro offer to take on the smart meters pilot project, compared to a 62 million-euro offer made by OTE, Intrakat and Intrasoft International.

Should the Supreme Court accept the trio’s case, the tender will need to be annulled and relaunched, which would prompt further delays to the overall procedure.

Successful completion of the pilot program is expected to pave the way for the project’s major tender offering the replacement of 7.5 million conventional power meters with smart meters.

The first stage of the pilot program, entailing the installation of 10,000 smart meters, is not expected to be completed before January, 2018 – if the tender is not annulled. The pilot tender’s other 190,000 smart meters will then be installed over a 15-month period.

PPC to pay €400m to thermal, RES producers, court orders

The Council of State, Greece’s supreme administrative court, has ordered the main power utility PPC to provide 400 million euros to LAGIE, the Electricity Market Operator, covering an amount owed to thermal electricity and renewable energy producers as a result of offsetting practices pursued by the utility.

The verdict comes as a major financial setback for PPC, which has struggled to combat poor cashflow in recent years.

The Council of State rejected a PPC request made in 2013 that sought to nullify a decision reached by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, that prohibited PPC from practicing offsetting solutions for amounts owed to LAGIE and, by extension, thermal electricity and RES producers.

RAE had reached that decision following an initiative taken by independent electricity supplier Elpedison in 2013. An examination of the case found that PPC was resorting to offsetting measures, despite not being entitled to do so.

The 400 million-euro sum which PPC must pay LAGIE will then be relayed to thermal electricity and RES producers. These two sub-sectors are more or less entitled to an equal division of the amount.

According to sources, talks have already begun between PPC and LAGIE for payment of the amount through installments and not as a lump sum, which would be virtually impossible considering the power utility’s current finances.