EU approves Greek measures allowing PPC rivals increased access to electricity

The announcement comes after an investigation found the power utility’s exclusive access to lignite-fired generation gave it an unfair advantage

The Big Zero report

The European Commission has approved Greek measures allowing competitors of Public Power Corporation (PPC) to purchase more electricity on a longer term basis.

The announcement comes after an investigation found the power utility’s exclusive access to lignite-fired generation gave it an unfair advantage.

Competitors of PPC – which is 51% owned by the state – in the electricity market could not compete efficiently with the company as they were denied access to lignite and by maintaining quasi-exclusive access to lignite in favour of PPC, Greece allowed it to maintain its dominant position in the power wholesale market.

The proposed remedies will lapse when existing lignite plants stop operating commercially, which is currently expected by 2023 – or by 31st December 2024 at the latest.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President, in charge of competition policy said: “Today’s decision and the measures proposed by Greece will enable PPC’s competitors to better hedge against price volatility, which is a vital element for them to compete in the market for retail electricity and offer stable prices to consumers.

“The measures work hand in hand with the Greek plan to decommission its highly polluting lignite-fired power plants by discouraging the usage of these plants, fully in line with the European Green Deal and the EU’s climate objectives.”

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