Offshore wind farm framework within first half, auction in ‘22

A legal framework for offshore wind farms will be ready within the next few months, no later than the end of the year’s first half, enabling investments in this sector to begin in Greece, the energy ministry has assured.

The energy ministry’s leadership is expected to reiterate this stance, without offering further scheduling details, at an event to be staged today by ELETAEN, the Greek Wind Energy Association. Energy minister Kostas Skrekas and the ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou will be participating.

Norway, a country with extensive offshore wind farm knowhow, will be strongly represented at the ELETAEN event. The Norwegian Ambassador to Greece, Frode Overland Andersen, and Daniel Willoch, a representative of NORWEA, the Norwegian Wind Energy Association, will take part.

So, too, will Giles Dickson, CEO at Brussels-based WindEurope, promoting the use of wind power in Europe.

If all goes as planned with efforts being made by the energy ministry, as well as ELETAEN, a first auction for offshore wind farms in Greece could be staged within the first half of 2022.

Considerable progress has been made in recent months, but pending issues on important details concerning spatial and licensing matters, connectivity with power grid operator IPTO’s network, as well as a remuneration formula for investors, all still need to be settled. The overall effort is complex and involves a number of ministries.

Investor interest in offshore wind farms is high as studies project electricity costs concerning floating units in Greece will experience a 40 percent decline by 2050. This cost, according to an older European Commission study, was estimated to drop from 76 euros per MWh in 2030 to 46 euros per MWh in 2050.

The same study estimated Greece’s offshore wind farm capacity would reach 263 GW, a prospect promising investors sustainability for the development of such projects.

Norway’s Equinor has already expressed the strongest interest for offshore wind energy development in Greece. Denmark’s Copenhagen Offshore Partners, also a major global player, has also shown some signs of interest.

As for Greek companies, TERNA Energy, the Copelouzos Group, and RF Energy have, in the past, submitted applications for offshore wind energy parks to RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.


PPC preparing sustainability-linked bond issue, Greece’s first

Influenced by the global investment community’s turn towards investments in eco-friendly energy, power utility PPC is preparing to issue a Sustainability-Linked Bond, a new financial tool reflecting this investor trend, within the first half of 2021.

The initiative promises to make PPC the first company in Greece to employ such a financial tool and one of just a few internationally.

The SLB is more elaborate than existing green bonds, linked to specific projects, as it is aligned with the wider sustainability prospects of bond issuers.

PPC, which has yet to set a date for its planned SLB issue, will commit to improving its sustainability performance over a predetermined period through CO2 emission reductions at an increasing rate, as specified in its new business plan.

Companies with lower emission levels represent lower-risk investments for investors, which enables green-oriented enterprises to achieve better borrowing terms.

Even so, PPC will not necessarily achieve any great interest rate improvement through an SLB issue, financing officials have pointed out.

However, looking ahead beyond the issue, a solid performance by the utility’s SLB in secondary-market trading would enable PPC to borrow at a lower cost should it return to capital markets at a future date.

The power utility’s credit rating is BB- while, just a year ago, the company was struggling to remain afloat. Much work still lies ahead before PPC is transformed into the dynamic eco-friendly company described in its new business plan.

TERNA Energy was the country’s first company to issue a green bond with a 60 million-euro issue in 2017 for capital that was utilized in renewable energy and waste management investments. The company made a follow-up move in 2019, raising 150 million euros at 2.6 percent through a green bond issue that was oversubscribed by over four times.

Petroleum group ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum), aiming to reduce its carbon footprint by 2030, is also considering green bonds as a financial tool.

Terna Energy sells Idaho wind farm for profit of more than $30m

Greece’s Terna Energy has announced the sale of its 138-MW Mountain Energy wind energy park in the US state of Idaho to Innergex Renewable Energy for a sum of 215 million dollars, securing a profit of more than 30 million euros.

This facility’s operating profit in 2019 reached 17.6 million dollars.

Following the sale of its Idaho unit, Terna Energy, which entered the American green energy market in 2011, now owns and operates three wind energy parks with a total capacity of approximately 512 MW, all in the state of Texas.

“Approximately ten years ago, we took a strategic decision to expand our investment program into the US market. This decision has proven to be extremely beneficial for the group and its shareholders as, besides the significant increase in group profitability, it has also offered major gains and capital for our new investment program,” noted Giorgos Peristeris, CEO at Terna Energy. “We have already planned 1.7 billion euros of investments in Greece for the green energy, pumped storage and waste management sectors,” he added.

Terna Energy will continue to bolster its growth in the US green energy market, Peristeris noted.

The company is focused on investment opportunities that promise big gains for shareholders, he said.

Terna Energy’s portfolio is now comprised of facilities – operational, under construction or at the pre-construction stage – with a total capacity in excess of 1,800 MW in Greece, the US, central and eastern Europe.

The group aims to increase its total installed capacity to 2,800 MW over the next five years.


PPC, Terna, Copelouzos resume talks for Crete RES partnership

Power utility PPC has resumed talks with Terna Energy and the Copelouzos group for a consortium to develop RES projects on Crete, but work is still needed if institutional complications are to be resolved.

The plan’s viability will depend on whether the consortium – if formed – can secure a contract with power grid operator IPTO to ensure a capacity reservation in the prospective Crete-Athens grid interconnection.

Approximately three years ago, Terna Energy and the Copelouzos group decided to merge two respective wind-energy projects covering Crete’s four prefectures, which took their combined capacity total to 950 MW, in order to facilitate an EU funding effort.

PPC also entered the picture just months ago, prior to the pandemic’s outbreak, for talks on the establishment of a three-member consortium. PPC Renewables, a PPC subsidiary, possesses wind-energy capacity on Crete.

The prospective venture planned by the trio entails transmission and sale to the mainland of 1 GW generated by wind-energy facilities. Each partner would hold a 33.3 percent stake in this venture.



Swift solution needed for Crete link project’s local resistance

The energy ministry is working to overcome resistance raised by regional authorities in Crete against the installation of a converter station needed for a submarine electricity grid interconnection project to link the island with Athens.

Cretan regional authorities have delivered a negative report on a plan by power grid operator IPTO, the project’s promoter, to install a converter station at Damasta in the Heraklion province.

The ministry needs to resolve the issue in order to issue an environmental permit for the interconnection project. The project’s completion target of 2023 could be threatened if this issue is not swiftly resolved.

A new round of talks involving top-ranked officials at the energy ministry and RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, and Cretan regional authorities could be held during the current week. Alternative solutions and offsetting measures that would compensate locals for any negative impact caused by the project are expected to be discussed.

IPTO appears set to sign an agreement with Prysmian, Nexans and Hellenic Cables – NKT, the winning bidders in a tender for the project’s cables. However, the pending environmental permit is needed.

Technical aspects of bids submitted to another project tender concerning two other converter stations and a substation are currently being assessed. Two consortiums, Terna – Siemens and Mytilineos – General Electric – Nari submitted bids for this tender.

Its next stage, an assessment of financial offers submitted by the aforementioned participants, will be made early in the year, Ariadne, an IPTO subsidiary formed for the Cretan interconnection project, has informed.

German players eyeing NECP opportunities ahead of Berlin forum

Greece’s major energy market opportunities, from the auto vehicle growth to decarbonization, renewable energy development, ambitious network investments and underwater cable interconnections are being eyed by German energy groups, preparing to participate at a high-level German-Hellenic Economic Forum next month.

The event, scheduled for March 9 in Berlin, is expected to be attended by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as a follow-up to a previous meeting between the two leaders in the German capital last August.

Greece’s new green agenda was tabled for the first time at that summer meeting, along with the idea to stage next month’s investment forum.

The Greek government, looking to execute an ambitious 44 billion-euro National Energy and Climate Plan by 2030, will gauge the level of German investor interest at the upcoming Berlin forum.

Leading German groups expected to participate at next month’s event include RWE, among the companies believed to be interested in supporting power utility PPC’s decarbonization effort, EON, eyeing opportunities at distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO; as well as Enercon, seeking wind energy partnership. Prospective partnerships with Greek players such as PPC, Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), Mytilineos and Terna Energy are expected to be discussed.



Copelouzos, Terna, PPC in Crete wind energy talks

Power utility PPC is engaged in talks with the Copelouzos and Terna Energy groups for the establishment of a joint venture to operate Cretan wind energy parks with a total capacity of approximately 1,000 MW.

The trio also intends to secure capacity in the Crete-Athens grid interconnection once this project, being developed by power grid operator IPTO, has been completed.

Details being discussed include the prospective stakes each of the three companies in the common venture. An even split of 33 percent each is one of the options being considered.

Two major Cretan wind energy projects being developed by Terna Energy and the Copelouzos group’s Elika were merged in 2017 to simplify their respective financing procedures through the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), commonly known as the Juncker Package.

These wind energy parks, promising an overall capacity of approximately 950 MW, will be developed in four prefectures.

PPC’s involvement, if an agreement with Copelouzos and Terna Energy is reached, could offer the power utility a 330-MW capacity.

Besides the current talks with Copelouzos and Terna Energy, PPC has received over ten partnership offers by Greek and foreign firms over the past few months.

The power utility recently signed three Memorandums of Understanding for strategic partnerships in the renewable energy sector, including one with Masdar Taaleri Generation (MTG) concerning a 300-MW capacity.

Italian energy firms eyeing array of local investments, PM in Italy

Italian investors are displaying widespread interest for energy investments in the Greek market, including possible stakes in distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO, power grid operator IPTO, gas utility DEPA’s two new entities DEPA Trade and DEPA Infrastructure, as well as joint ventures in wind energy stations, electric vehicle projects and smart grids.

Deputy energy minister Gerassimos Thomas, joining Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on an official visit to Rome today, is expected to be informed of this Italian investment interest. Thomas is scheduled to meet with Italian economic development minister Stefano Patuanelli.

The Greek Prime Minister, to meet with his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte, can also expect to hear of this Italian investment interest during talks which, besides the refugee crisis, will also address cross-border energy projects such as TAP and East Med.

Snam maintains the most emblematic of Italian investments in the Greek market at present with a 66 percent stake in gas grid operator DESFA, including control of the country’s natural gas transmission and storage infrastructure.

Italian firms are regarded as pioneers in a number of green-energy domains, including smart grids, electric vehicle recharging station installations along highways, even wave power projects.

Just days ago, a consortium comprising Eni, Fincantieri and Terna announced it would commercially develop its pilot project Inertial Sea Wave Energy Converter (ISWEC) for wave energy generation, initially at small Italian islands, followed by projects abroad.

The Greek Prime Minister and his energy deputy will also meet with Italian entrepreneurs, including Eni gas e luce chief executive Alberto Chiarini.

Italy’s Terna, one of Europe’s biggest transmission system operators, is believed to be interested in acquiring a stake of IPTO and its Ariadne subsidiary, project promoter of the submarine Crete-Athens grid interconnection.

Enel is considering moves into networks, renewable energy investments and the electric vehicles sector.

Italgas, Italy’s biggest gas distributor and the continent’s third biggest, appears interested in DEPA Infrastructure. Italgas is believed to have reached a preliminary agreement to acquire fellow Italian company Eni gas e luce’s 49 percent stake and management rights in EDA Thess, covering the Thessaloniki and Thessaly areas.

Eni, increasing its involvement in pioneering projects, including wave energy, is believed to be looking to increase its Greek market presence, possibly through acquisitions.



PPC, IPTO see big potential in broadband development PPPs

Power utility PPC and power grid operator IPTO, both seeing enormous potential in the further utilization of their thousands of kilometers of distribution and electricity transmission networks covering the entire country, have emerged as contestants in a tender for a broadband network expansion project, one of Greece’s biggest Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to date.

PPC and IPTO know well their existing nationwide infrastructure is a treasure whose potential is far from fully realized. Fiber optics and a large range of telephone and internet services can be added to this infrastructure.

The PPP tender is offering contracts for the development of ultra-fast broadband networks in seven parts of Greece that have not been included in investment plans shaped by telephony providers. The project is budgeted at 870 million euros.

Besides PPC and IPTO, three telecom companies, OTE, Vodafone and Wind, four construction firms, Terna Energy, Mytilineos, Intrakat and AVAX, as well as the Sultanate of Oman’s Oman Fiber Optic SAOC have emerged as first-round contenders for the tender.

Partnerships could be established between some of these ten participants, or with other investors who may be emerge later on.

According to the tender’s initial terms, bidders or bidding teams are entitled to be awarded up to three regions.

RES interest high in September, applications total 2.1 GW

Investor interest for the development of new RES units, especially solar energy projects, as well as wind energy farms, remained high in September.

A total of 114 applications representing an overall capacity of 2,093 MW were submitted to RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, during the month.

Solar energy project applications represent the bulk of this interest, numbering 82 for a capacity at 1,642 MW, compared to 406 MW for wind energy applications.

A smaller number of applications concerning small-scale hydropower projects totaling 10 MW were also submitted in September. The authority also received one application for a 2-MW biomass unit, three applications for hybrid projects on Lesvos totaling 14 MW, and one bid for a 20-MW telethermal project in Megalopoli.

Cantreva led the way with solar energy project applications totaling 413 MW. Terna Energy submitted solar project applications representing an overall capacity of approximately 372 MW.

Sizeable moves were also made by Portugal’s EDPR, submitting 185 MW in solar energy project applications and 90 MW for wind energy installations, as well as Germany’s ABO, which applied for solar energy projects totaling 107 MW.

Other noteworthy applications were forwarded by Maximus Terra (106 MW, solar), SPDGR (95 MW, solar), Iliothema (70 MW, solar) and Erimia (114 MW, wind).



RES applications continue at steady rate, 2.5 GW in June

Production license applications concerning new RES projects have continued at a steady rate, while the balance between various technologies has remained unchanged, industry figures for June have shown.

Solar energy production license applications, numbering 126 of the overall 215 submitted in June, continued to hold the lion’s share and represented 2.1 GW of the 2.5 GW total.

As for wind energy, license applications for 76 projects with a total capacity of 384.71 MW were submitted in June. A total of 12 small-scale hydropower applications were made for a capacity of 10.03 MW. One cogeneration, or combined heat and power (CHP), application representing a capacity of 2 MW was made.

A total of 14 companies submitted multiple applications representing 119 projects with a capacity of 1,757.5 MW, of which 196.9 concern wind energy stations.

The 14 multiple applicants were: Juwi Hellas, New Solar Developments, Hellenic Petroleum Renewable Energy Sources, Egnatia Group, European Solar Farms Greece, Thessaloniki Energy Solar, Serres Power, Verde, Terna Energy, Siemens Gamesa, ABO Wind Hellas, Rensol Energy PV, Karatzis and Peloponnisiakos Anemos.

Applications submitted to RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, between December, 2018 and June represent a total capacity of 8 GW. They number over 1,000, placing pressure on the processing demands at RAE, authority official Dionysis Papahristou noted.

Upcoming mixed RES auction applications submitted today

Procedures leading to the country’s first mixed RES auction, to place the sector’s main players, wind and solar energy investors, in the same bidding arena with equal terms for intensified competition, begin today with the submission of online applications.

These will be followed by the submission of dossiers containing all required documents ahead of the auction, expected on April 15, according to an announcement made by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

A total of 600 MW will be offered to auction participants. Amounts requested in applications will need to exceed this 600-MW total by 40 percent if the entire amount is to be offered at the upcoming auction.

Terna Energy, Mytilineos, PPC, the Panagakos group, as well as major foreign players such as Total Eren, Juwi, EDF and ENEL are among the firms likely to participate.

Mixed RES auctions have become standard practice in other European markets, the objective being to secure optimal solutions for coverage of energy needs at the lowest possible cost.


PPC fate in hands of Brussels, hydropower units addition a fear

The main power utility PPC’s future corporate make-up, following the apparent debacle of its bailout-required disinvestment of lignite units, now lies in the hands of the European Commission, whose intentions are soon expected.

Even if the Mytilineos group does submit an improved follow-up offer today, as has been requested, for PPC’s Meliti facility in Florina, northern Greece, and the unit is sold, the country’s commitments to the European Commission will not have been fulfilled.

Two units of PPC’s Megalopoli facility failed to attract investors, meaning the sale’s objective of reducing PPC’s lignite market share by 35.6 percent cannot be attained.

The initial offer made by the Mytilineos group for Meliti is believed to be well under the price tag set by an independent evaluator for the facility.

Another offer made by Seven Energy and Terna, for Megalopoli, was apparently rejected for not meeting terms, while the sale’s third contender, a team comprised of the Copelouzos group and CHN Energy, ended up not submitting any offers.

The crucial question, as things have turned out, is whether Brussels will bring Greece’s hydropower units into the picture, as an addition to the lignite package.

The energy ministry is definitely worried about such a prospect and insists this remains a red-line issue for energy minister Giorgos Stathakis.

Greece will be under considerable pressure should Brussels and the country’s other lender institutions decide to associate the lignite unit sale’s apparent debacle with Greece’s slow progress in opening up the retail electricity market to competition.

Data provided by the energy exchange for December showed PPC’s retail market share rose to 80.29 percent from 78.63 percent in a month. According to bailout terms on the matter, PPC’s market share at the end of 2018 was supposed to have dropped to 62.24 percent before reaching 49.24 percent by the end of 2019.



PPC units sale close to failure, call for improved sole valid offer

The main power utility PPC’s bailout-required sale of units at Meliti in Greece’s north and Megalopoli in the south could end up being half successful, at best, but a full debacle is considered most likely, the disclosure of binding bids submitted yesterday, the sale’s deadline day, has indicated.

Sale authorities have requested an improved bid from just one participant, the Mytilineos group, for its offer concerning the Meliti facility, while another offer made by Seven Energy and Terna for Megalopoli has apparently been rejected as it does not meet the tender’s terms, energypress has understood following a thorough cross-examination of incoming information.

According to one of Greece’s bailout commitments, based on a European Court verdict, the sale effort requires a disinvestment representing 40 percent of PPC’s lignite capacity. Meliti I and II and Megalopoli III and IV need to be sold if this disinvestment target is to be achieved.

PPC has suggested it will strive for an imminent follow-up sale in an effort to honor the European Court disinvestment decision. If this is permitted, problems that have made the current sale unattractive to investors will need to be resolved. The current composition of the Megalopoli package, in particular, is virtually unsellable, investors agree.

PPC remains determined to achieve decent sale prices for Meliti and Megalopoli, despite the fact that both facilities have been assessed as loss-incurring by investors. In recent comments, the power utility’s chief Manolis Panagiotakis noted that PPC is “selling not selling out.”

New wind turbine connections to grid rise by 7.2% in 2018

A total of 103 new wind turbine facilities with a combined capacity of 191.6 MW were connected to the country’s grid in 2018, a 7.2 percent year-on-year increase, the ELETAEN figures showed, according to latest data released by ELETAEN, the Greek Wind Energy Association.

EREN, the renewable energy group founded and headed by Greek-French entrepreneur Paris Mouratoglou, has emerged as a new entry in Greece’s top-five list of RES investors with investments offering a total capacity of 210.9 MW, a 7.5 percent market share.

EREN, which recently established a strategic agreement with Total, is now ranked fifth, replacing Enel Green Power, which has dropped to sixth place.

The top-five list’s four other enterprises held their places. Terna Energy leads with 536.1 MW, a 19 percent share; El. Tech Anemos is ranked second with 285.6 MW (10.1%), Iberdrola Rokas is third with 250.7 MW (8.9%); and EDF EN Hellas is placed fourth with 238.2 MW (8.4%)., according to the ELETAEN data.

CF Ventus, a venture of the Fortress Fund, has emerged as Greece’s new RES market arrival following its acquisition of wind energy parks from the Libra group. CF Ventus is continuing to invest in the sector.

Facilities at old wind energy parks with a total capacity of 15.43 MW operated by PPC Renewables, primarily in Crete and the North Aegean, were uninstalled in 2018.  Work on their replacements has already begun.

Vestas continued to dominate Greece’s wind turbine supply market, providing an impressive 78.2 percent of all turbines installed in 2018.

As for the spatial distribution of wind capacity in Greece, the central mainland continues to be ranked first with 907 MW (32%) and is followed by the Peloponnese with 550 MW (19%) and eastern Macedonia-Thrace with 375 MW (13%).


PPC, Terna in pumped-storage hydroelectricity project talks

The main power utility PPC is engaged in talks with Terna Energy for a possible partnership concerning the latter’s plan to develop pumped-storage hydroelectricity facilities in Amfilohia, western Greece, and the Cretan region Amari, PPC’s chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis disclosed at the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair while addressing the utility’s decision to make a decisive turn towards green energy.

The energy sector’s future lies in renewable energy incorporating storage systems, Panagiotakis supported.

“Crete and other areas have potential. We have begun talks with Terna and other firms for the development of such projects by also utilizing existing lakes, such as the artificial lake at the Amari area’s rivers, with wind turbines,” the PPC boss explained.

Pumped-storage hydroelectricity allows energy from intermittent sources, such as solar, wind and other renewables, or excess electricity from continuous base-load sources, including coal, to be saved for periods of higher demand.

Terna Energy plans to develop a 680-MW facility in Amfilohia and a 93-MW plant at Amari, Crete.

Ellaktor, Terna left in PPC Renewables geothermal tender

Two investment schemes, Helector SA, a member of the Ellaktor group, as well as a team comprised of Terna Energy and sister company Terna Aioliki Xerovouniou SA, have submitted binding second-round bids to an international tender staged by PPC Renewables for a strategic partner in the installation of power stations to utilize four geothermal fields.

The tender’s deadline for second-round offers expired on June 1. A total of six teams had expressed first-round interest.

Besides Helector and the Terna Energy-Terna Aioliki Xerovouniou team, Enel Green Power Hellas, France’s Storengy, KS Orka from Singapore, as well as Zorlu-Turboden, a Turkish-Italian joint venture, also participated in the first round.

PPC Renewables, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the main power utility PPC, is aiming for swift progress in its quest for a strategic partner and the establishment of a finalized partnership agreement as soon as possible.

PPC Renewables plans to establish a joint venture with its prospective strategic partner to develop geothermal power stations of at least 8 MW on Lesbos and 5 MW at each of the other locations.

PPC Renewables intends to soon launch exploratory drilling procedures at its own expense. These drilling endeavors are planned to run concurrently with the ongoing selection process for a strategic partner.

Officials at PPC Renewables believe the reluctance, if not outright opposition, of residents on some of the islands to the geothermal plan will subside once islanders are fully informed of technological advancements in the sector, preventing environmental impact. Locals reacted back in the 1980s against an initiative for the development of a geothermal field on Milos.



PPC announces lignite units tender a day ahead of schedule

The main power utility PPC has just announced an international tender offering a bailout-required sale package of lignite units one day ahead of tomorrow’s scheduled date.

Prospective investors will have until June 21 to submit official expressions of interest and June 11 to forward any queries concerning the overall sale procedure.

Power stations and mines representing 40 percent of PPC’s overall lignite capacity have been included in the sale package.

The preferred bidder is scheduled to be officially announced on October 17. Binding offers will need to be submitted by September 1. Then, PPC’s board is scheduled to meet on September 20 to endorse the sale and purchase agreement as well as a financial appraisal procedure.

On July 3, the PPC board plans to endorse prospective investors who express interest as well as the procedure leading to the submission of binding offers.

It remains to be seen who the participants will be and how much they will be willing to offer for PPC’s lignite units.

At present, three investment teams are expected to submit official expressions of interest. The Copelouzos group, joined by Chinese energy company Shenhua, is one of the three, Terna Energy is another, while the metals industry Viohalco, one of the country’s biggest energy consumers, is the other player seen as a certainty.

The aforementioned players could also establish partnerships between them of with other investors still out of the picture.

Whether these prospective investors will progress beyond the preliminary stage to submit binding bids is another story. This will largely depend on the variable costs of units, currently not known; lignite’s level of participation in the country’s energy mix; as well as other still-unspecified matters, such as the CAT eligibility of lignite units.



Licensing delays, bureaucracy ruining RES investment plans

Renewable energy sector players may have been able to absorb the cost of bureaucratic delays in the past, but market changes, shaped by auctions, no longer allow for such latency, meaning investments plans could well be cancelled amid the new conditions if license applications continue being delayed, sector officials have stressed at an investment conference staged by SEV, the Hellenic Association of Industrialists.

Highlighting the bureaucratic obstacles in the sector, major energy groups such as Mytilineos and Terna Energy are currently developing or completing wind energy project investments licensed about 15 years ago as a result of various delays prompted by authorities.

“Two months have gone by since we submitted an application for a production license to RAE [Regulatory Authority for Energy] and we have yet to receive a response. I would have expected a quicker reaction for a 350 million-euro investment,” remarked Dinos Benroubi, the energy division head at the Mytilineos corporate group.

Greek licensing procedures for wind energy projects appear to be even more complicated than those concerning thermal facilities, or natural gas fueled power stations, it was noted at the SEV conference.

Participants explained that, amid the current conditions, energy groups aiming to concurrently strive for multiple licenses concerning many RES projects would need to maintain oversized teams just for RES sector matters.

Employees at forestry and archaeological services are capable of severely holding up RES investment plans, despite the availability of funds, conference participants noted.

Though the Greek State assumed the responsibility of developing offshore wind energy farms nearly a decade ago, not a single such project has been developed, despite the wider investor interest, participants reminded.

All too often, renewable energy investment plans are blocked by cases filed at the Council of State, Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court, even by non residents, it was also pointed out.


Hydra expected to regain control of RES-lucrative Agios Georgios islet

A long-running dispute between the municipalities of the island Hydra and Lavrio, southeast of Athens, for the administrative jurisdiction of Agios Georgios, or San Giorgio, an uninhabited 4.3 km2 islet south of Sounio equipped with 23 wind energy turbines totaling 70 MW and installed and operated by Terna Energy, appears set to end in favor of Hydra.

Greek Interior Minister Panos Skourletis appears to have accepted a State Legal Council opinion recommending administrative jurisdiction of the islet for the municipality of Hydra, according to sources.

The Interior Ministry’s final decision on the islet’s administrative jurisdiction will determine which of the two municipalities will be entitled to receive RES-related payments worth half a million euros annually.

Historically, the islet was under Hydra’s control from 1834, when the newly founded modern Greek state’s admnistrative map was established. Control of Agios Georgios was transferred to the Lavrio municipality in 2011 by ELSTAT, the Hellenic Statistical Authority, following a census.

Unfinished, long-delayed Epirus hydropower project moving again

A decisive step appears to have been taken in a long-running and unfinished effort to develop a hydropower facility at Metsovitikos River in the Epirus area of northwestern Greece, a recent decision by main power utility PPC to endorse a tender awarding the project’s development to the Terna Energy Group has indicated.

The Metsovitikos River hydropower facility is planned to possess a 2X14.5 MW capacity. Terna Energy Group was named the winning bidder with an offer of approximately 14 million euros.

Work on an initial stage of this hydropower project, carried out by Mihaniki AE, began in the mid-90s and was completed in 2000.

Then, a second stage of the project was taken on by a three-member consortium comprised of Vioter, Edrasi Psallidas and Proodeftiki. This team managed to complete just 31 percent of stage two, until January, 2007. The project has since remained stagnant.

In December, 2014, PPC decided to nullify an intermediate tender, citing bank guarantee issues as the motive behind the decision.

PPC hopes the project will be completed within 28 months of the new agreement’s signing, as stated in the project’s terms.

Terna Energy signs PPP deal for Epirus solid waste treatment plant

The Terna Energy group has signed an agreement for a municipal solid waste treatment plant in Greece’s northwest Epirus region, based on a Public & Private Partnerships (PPP) scheme involving “Aeiforiki of Epirus”, a Terna Energy subsidiary, and the Epirus prefectural authority, the company announced.

The partnership agreement provides for the study, licensing, financing, construction, insurance, operation and maintenance of the waste management project for the next 25 years. The total duration of the agreement is 26.5 years and consists of an 18-month construction period as well as of a 25-year operation period. The investment is estimated to reach the amount of 52.6 million euros.

The fundamental axis of the investment plan concerns the management of conventional waste through the use of modern technologies aiming at absolute environmental protection in line with a financially viable strategy that will ensure long-term implementation and operation of the project.

Once launched, the project will be equipped to process 105,000 tons of waste annually through the Sewage Treatment Plan (STP), recycle at least 17,000 tons of appropriate materials and produce green energy with a capacity to satisfy the needs of 3,000 households, thereby offering CO2 emission savings measuring of 12,000 tons.

The project is expected to create 200 new jobs during the construction stage, 90 working positions during the 25-year operation period, as well as a large number of parallel jobs, including in the areas of transportation, trade and recycling management.

The operation of the new waste material processing unit promises to ensure the broader region’s compliance with existing EU regulations, strengthen environmental protection and lead to significant improvements in the quality of life and hygiene conditions for all citizens.

The project’s implementation will also offer both direct and indirect benefits in the fields of tourism, education and the new quality-based agricultural sector, representing a strategic objective for the entire country.



Green bonds, just arrived here, enjoying strong global growth

The overwhelming investor turnout for a climate bond issued by Terna Energy, Greece’s first environmental bond, has turned the domestic market’s attention to this financing tool, introduced to Greece for the first time with this Terna issue but already experiencing rapid growth on an international scale.

Green bonds were introduced as financial tools to support RES projects developed by governments and private-sector enterprises.

Indicative of the emphasis on climate bonds being placed elsewhere, China’s seven major regulatory authorities recently announced a series of common guidelines for the establishment of a “green” financial system, the objective being to transform the country’s economy into an eco-friendly economy.

Climate bonds emerged in 2007 and have since experienced rapid growth. Green bond issues are expected to reach a total of approximately 150 billion dollars this year, up from 81 billion dollars last year and 3 billion dollars in 2012.

The USA stands is the biggest issuer of climate bonds ($29.2bn, based on data until 2016), followed by India ($23.6bn), China ($19.5bn), France ($19.4bn), Germany ($12.5bn), Sweden ($6.1bn), Mexico ($2.6bn), Canada ($2.4bn), Japan ($1.8bn) and Australia ($1.67bn).

Euroasia Interconnector, Crete link association discussed

Terna Energy and the Copelouzos group are engaged in talks with Euroasia Interconector and IPTO, Greece’s power grid operator, in an effort to co-develop Crete’s interconnection with the Greek mainland.

An effort is being made to associate the Cretan interconnection with the grander Euroasia Interconnector, an ambitious project to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli grids. The Euroasia Interconnector has already been classified as a Project of Common Interest (PCI), enabling EU funding.

In March, Terna Energy and the Copelouzos group decided to merge two major wind farm projects planned for Crete so as to facilitate financing procedures stemming from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), commonly refered to as the “Juncker package”.

The two companies plan to co-develop wind farm projects with a total capacity of 950 MW in all four Cretan prefectures. Terna Energy and the Copelouzos group have also joined forces for the island’s interconnection with the mainland, a 320-kilometer submarine crossing whose development is planned to commence in 2019. This project’s budget is worth 2.4 billion euros.

Terna Energy company officials told a general shareholders’ meeting yesterday that the project’s licensing procedure is not easy as local authorities have raised objections, adding that the company is working on issues together with regional Cretan authorities.

On a visit to Israel earlier this month, Greece’s Digital Policy, Media and Telecommunications Minister Nikos Pappas proposed that the Euroasia Interconnector, to cover 1,519 kilometers, include a fiber optics connection between Israel and Greece.

An agreement between Greece’s main power utility PPC and China’s SGCC (State Grid Corporation of China) for the latter’s acquisition of a 24 percent stake in the power grid operator IPTO, a PPC subsidiary, is expected to provide further financial support for the Euroasia Interconnector. The prospect was discussed by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during his recent visit to China.

A consortium comprised of PPC and Quantum Energy, Israel’s Electric Corporation, is participating in the Euroasia Interconnector project, planned to have a 2,000-MW capacity and be installed at depths of as much as 2,000 meters. Its budget is estimated at 1.5 billion euros.

An EU-supported detailed preliminary study concerning the interconnection’s first stage, offering a 1,000-MW capacity, is planned to begin this June. The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), a key EU funding instrument supporting trans-European networks and infrastructures in the sectors of transport, telecommunications and energy, will fund half the first stage’s cost, whose total is worth 29 million euros.

Terna Energy signs deal with CIP for RES investment in US

TERNA ENERGY, a member of the GEK TERNA Group, has signed a cooperation agreement with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) regarding a TERNA ENERGY investment plan for the US renewable energy (RES) market, the company announced in a statement released today.

The first phase of the agreement’s implementation concerns a 155.4 MW Fluvanna I wind farm currently being constructed by TERNA ENERGY in Scurry County, Texas. CIP will contribute $61 million to cover part of the development cost. The project’s total investment cost exceeds $250m. Goldman Sachs will also participate, contributing funds of up to $150 million during operation, while financing during construction will be covered by a group of banks, including HSBC, NordLB, Morgan Stanley and Rabobank.

Fluvanna I is being equipped with GAMESA wind turbines and is expected to commence commercial operations in the fourth quarter of 2017.

TERNA ENERGY already operates a wind park with a capacity of 138 MW in Elmore County, Idaho, and is pursuing additional investments in the US renewables market. These include construction of another wind park (Fluvanna II, 130 MW). CIP has also expressed an interest to invest in its construction.

The total installed capacity of the TERNA ENERGY corporate group amounts to 738 MW. The group maintains installations of 468 MW in Greece, 138 MW in the US, 102 MW in Poland and 30 MW in Bulgaria.

The corporate group also maintains RES installations currently under construction or ready for construction with a capacity of 242 MW in Greece and abroad.

Overall, the company operates, is constructing or has full licensing of 980 MW of RES installations in Europe and America. The company is targeting to reach nearly 1,000 MW of RES projects over the next few years in countries where it is active.

Terna wind energy park off Sounio preparing for launch

Terna Energy has completed construction of a new 73.2 MW-capacity wind energy park on an islet close to Sounio, south-southeast of Athens, and plans to soon commercially launch the facility.

It was developed on the islet Agios Georgios, measuring 430 hectares and located about 12 miles from Sounio. Terna anticipates the wind farm will begin generating earning for company within the current year.

The facility has been developed to utilize the Aegean Sea’s enormous wind energy potential and supply electricity to a station in the wider Athens area via a submarine cable.

The news was announced yesterday by GEK Terna Group’s CEO Giorgos Peristeris, who, while offering a rundown of the group’s corporate activities in 2016, also informed that the company has begun construction work on Ptolemaida 5, a new power station in Greece’s north. This project, commissioned by PPC, the main power utility, is worth 1.4 billion euros.

Also this year, GEK Terna signed a 230 million-euro contract with the TAP consortium for the construction of metering stations concerning the pipeline to carry Azeri natural gas across Greece to central Europe via Albania and Italy.

GEK Terna has also completed construction of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre in Athens, a project of pioneering design and special construction demands, according to Peristeris.

GEK Terna has continued to pursue its investment plan in the energy sector with new RES projects. Its projects in operation have a total capacity of 664 MW, while projects with a further capacity of 124 MW are at the construction stage. A 150-MW wind energy park developed in the US, in Texas, was recently granted a license to operate.

The CEO said losses incurred by the corporate group’s thermal power stations could be attributed to the pending new CAT mechanism.


Terna Energy posts 9.8% sales increase in first quarter

Consolidated sales at Terna Energy for the first quarter of 2016 amounted to 50.4 million euros compared to 45.9 million euros during the equivalent period last year, a 9.8 percent increase, the company has announced.

Income from the electricity production sector amounted to 39 million euros compared to 37.5 million euro in the same period of 2015, a four percent increase.

Sales of the electricity energy trading division amounted to 7.3 million euros, while sales of the company’s construction division for third parties amounted to 3.8 million euros, up from 2.3 million euro in the first quarter of 2015, the company announced.

Total EBITDA amounted to 30.5 million euros compared to 29.2 million euros in the first quarter of 2015, a 4.4 percent rise. Total ΕΒΙΤ amounted to 20.8 million euros compared to 19.7 million euros, a 5.5 percent increase. Earnings before taxes reached 10 million euros from 15.3 million euros in the first quarter of 2015, a 34.6 percent rise. Net earnings after minority interest amounted to 7 million euros compared to 12.2 million euros in the first quarter last year, a 42.6 percent drop, due to the negative effect from foreign exchange differences which was positive by 3.4 million euros in the first quarter of 2015 and negative by 0.9 million euros in the first quarter of 2016.

The Group’s net debt position (bank debt minus cash & cash equivalents) in the first quarter of 2016 amounted to 337 million euro compared to 319 million euro at the end of 2015.

The Group’s total installed capacity is 664 MW. It possesses total installations of 394 MW in Greece, 138 MW in the USA, 102 MW in Poland and 30 MW in Bulgaria.

In addition, the Group has RES installations currently under construction or ready for construction with a capacity of 273 MW, in Greece and abroad.

Overall, the company operates, is constructing or has full licensing of 937 MW of RES installations in Europe and America. The company is aiming to reach almost 1,000 MW of RES projects over the next few years in all countries where it is active.


Terna Energy posts significant turnover, profit increases

Terna Energy posted a consolidated sales figure of 198.6 million euros for 2015 compared to 158.2 million euros in 2014, a 25.5 percent increase, the company announced in a statetement yesterday.

Income from the electricity production sector amounted to 140.3 million euros compared to 110.3 million euros in 2014, up by 27.1 percent.

Sales of the company’s division of electric energy trading amounted to 26.8 million euros. Sales of the construction division for third parties amounted to 20.2 million euros versus 35.5 million euros in 2014. In the concessions division (e-ticketing), revenues accounted for 11.3 million euros.

EBITDA amounted to 99.3 million euros compared to 74 million euros in the previous year, a 34.1 percent increase, as a result of increased installed capacity and the higher wind performance prevailing in Europe during 2015 compared to the previous year. The ΕΒΙΤ figure reached 60.3 million euros compared to 41.8 million euros, a 44.2percent increase. Earnings before tax amounted to 30.3 million euros compared to 12.1 million euros in 2014, up by 149.6 percent. Net earnings after minority interest amounted to 17.4 million euros compared to 5.8 million euros, a 198.4 percent increase.

Cash flow from operating activities before changes in working capital amounted to 103.8 million euros versus 74.7 million euros in the previous year. The group’s net debt position (bank debt minus cash & cash equivalents) at the end of the year 2015 amounted to 319.3 million euros compared to 259 million euros at the end of the previous quarter. The corporate group’s investments during the year 2015 settled at 79.7 million euros.

The management of the group will propose to the general shareholders’ meeting the distribution of dividend amounting to 0.09 euro per share.

The corporate group’s total installed capacity amounts to 664 MW. The group has installations of 394 MW in Greece, 138 MW in the USA, 102 MW in Poland and 30 MW in Bulgaria. At the same time, the Group has RES installations currently under construction or ready for construction with a capacity of 274 MW, in Greece and abroad.

Overall, the company operates, is constructing or has full licensing of 938 MW of RES installations in Europe and America. The company aims to reach nearly 1,000 MW of RES projects over the next few years in all countries where it operates

Terma Energy takes on 380-MW wind-energy facility in Texas

Terna Energy, a subsidiary of the GEK Terna group, has acquired a wind-energy license for a capacity of 380 MW in the US area of Fluvanna, Texas.

As part of the deal, the listed company has taken on a partially developed wind-energy facility from Tri Global Energy LLC, a Dallas-based company active in the renewable energy sector (RES) in Texas and New Mexico.

According to information released, Tri Global Energy will collaborate with Terna Energy during the construction stage, until the facility is launched commercially.

A first part of the wind-energy park is scheduled to begin operating in 2017. The unit will be developed on an expanse measuring 3,200 hectares leased by private landowners.

Terma Energy’s total installed capacity amounts to 648 MW. The company operates facilities with capacities of 394 MW in Greece, 138 MW in the USA, 86 MW in Poland, and 30 MW in Bulgaria. The company also possesses a further 237 MW of RES faclities under construction, both in Greece and abroad.

Overall, Terma Energy holds RES licenses for a total of 885 MW in Europe and the USA. The company’s objective is to reach a 1,000 MW-capacity within the next few years.