Ailing ELTA, eyeing electricity market entry, warned of risks

ELTA, Hellenic Post, making plans to enter the retail electricity market as a move that could generated additional, and needed, revenue from an alternative source, has been warned by the country’s new super privatization fund, now controlling the enterprise, that such an initiative carries considerable risk, which could lead to repercussions if the endeavor is not successful.

The fund, in a report listing business proposals for ELTA, makes clear that the country’s retail electricity market offer opportunities as a result of its liberalized conditions, lower wholesale electricity prices, and NOME auctions as lower-cost purchase platforms for suppliers. However, the fund also warns of a high risk entailed as a result of price fluctuations and electricity bill collection difficulties.

Struggling to remain afloat, ELTA, cannot affort to make any wrong moves. The Greek State’s 90 percent stake in the enterprise is now controlled by the privatization fund. Eurobank holds the firm’s other 10 percent.

ELTA, already covering its own energy needs through electricity amount purchases at previous NOME auctions – introduced late in 2016 to offer suppliers access to the main power utility PPC’s low-cost lignite and hydropower sources – is now preparing to utilize its extensive nationwide retail network for a wider entry into the electricity market in 2018, according to sources.

The firm aims to sell an electricity amount of 72,500 MWh in 2018, including to company employees and associates, which could provide revenues of 20 million euros.

At present, ELTA employs 6,418 persons, operates 690 retail outlets, 694 agencies, 81 distribution centers as well as 10 processing units around Greece. It posted a turonover figure of 311.8 million euros last year, down 40 percent from 521.1 million euros posted in 2010, when the recession had just begun to impact the country. Profit fell from 3.2 million euros to just 400,000 euros last year.