Electricity

Greece to start shutting down coal power plants

Greece coal power plants

Photo: Iwona Olczyk/Pixabay

Published

September 20, 2019

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Published:

September 20, 2019

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A business plan being drafted by the management of majority state-owned Public Power Corporation (PPC) includes a “sweeping divestment” of its coal power plants in Greece, Ekathimerini writes.

The plan to start shutting down PPC’s coal-fired power plants, which is expected to be ready by mid-November, is meant to be factored into the structural changes of the electricity market in Greece and the post-bailout assessment of the Greek economy by creditors.

Greek Environment and Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis’ directions to PPC’s management provide for PPC’s streamlining and the full adoption of European regulations for a transition to the post-lignite era, according to the report.

In response, the power utility’s management has started a full cost analysis of the lignite plants to decide which ones will continue to operate and which will be shut down, with sustainability being the sole criterion.

Out of the 14 lignite plants PPC has today, the state-run utility will likely hang onto the plant at Agios Dimitrios and a new unit at Ptolemaida, which is under construction, according to the report.

The gradual withdrawal will likely begin in the first half of 2020, Hatzidakis told Kathimerini in an interview, adding that the first units to go will be Amyntaio and Megalopoli.

PPC is already examining plans to deal with the fallout of the closure of the lignite plants on jobs and on local communities whose economies have relied on those units for over a century.

The rescue plan for PPC, burdened with more than EUR 2.4 billion of arrears from unpaid bills, include scrapping the so-called NOME auctions, selling a majority stake in the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator (HEDNO/DEDDIE), closing of lignite-powered units (Amyntaio I, II and Megalopoli III) and increasing PPC’s investment in renewable energy, in cooperation with private companies, Ekathimerini wrote.

The two-unit Amyntaio has an overall installed capacity of 600 MW, while the Megalopoli III is a 300 MW power plant unit.

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