Troika neglecting deep local concerns over new CATs

Officials of the country’s creditor representatives, or troika, handling Greece’s energy sector matters are maintaining the adamant positions tabled at a recent meeting in Paris, Greece’s new Capacity Availability Tickets (CATs) for the electricity market being the main source of disagreement between the negotiating sides, according to energypress sources.

Negotiations are currently being staged via teleconferences and email exchange ahead of the next meeting between Greek and troika officials.

The troika officials insist that a mechanism, as part of the new CATs, to reward producers for capacity availability during low-demand periods is not necessary. They do, however, accept the need for a mechanism to support producers for offering capacity flexibility to the system. But the officials are reportedly applying pressure for the overall cost of the new CATs to be reduced by more than 50 percent of the exisiting system’s level.

Such a reduction would have a devastating effect on the country’s entire electricity sector. PPC, the Public Power Corporation, would lose approximately 170 million euros per year currently being received through CATs, while independent producers would be threatened by closure.

Environment, Energy & Climate Change Ministry officials have presented data according to which Greece’s electricity system has an adequacy security problem, as was clearly demonstrated recently by the repercussions to the system as a result of a fire that broke out at PPC’s production facilities in Ptolemaida, northern Greece.

Amid the current negotiations, Greek officials have presented their case as to why and how the country’s entire electricity market will be devastated if the troika’s proposals are implemented, but the creditor representatives are not budging.

Serious differences have also emerged between the two sides on the NOME-type auctions being prepared. However, the pending CATs-related issues stand as the most pressing matter at this point. Following a number of extensions, the current system’s validity will expire at the end of the year.

As for the draft bill concerning the gas market’s liberalization, energypress sources have said it has been completed and headed for finalization.