The intervention of the Minister of Environment and Energy, Costas Skrekas, was provoked by a recent letter from PPC to IPTO and with a notification to his office about the problems faced by lignite production so that it is fully available during the difficult next three months of winter.

This is stated by sources, on the occasion of the meeting convened by the Minister of Energy for the energy adequacy of the country and which will be attended by the Chairman of the Crisis Management Committee Dimitris Fourlaris, executives of IPTO and DESFA, PPC and independent power generators.

In the midst of the crisis of the electricity and gas markets in the EU, PPC, according to information, announced a series of difficulties faced by lignite-fired power plants. Lignite power plants, it is recalled, played a key role in preventing blackouts during summer emergencies, while participating in the current season with a percentage of 9% and 14% in the energy mix for electricity generation. The not so favorable data for the greater penetration of RES, have brought lignite back to the forefront of energy security and while the government is launching the closure of factories in Western Macedonia and Arcadia.

The letter

As far as sources are aware, PPC in its letter to IPTO and the Energy Minister describes the difficulties faced by lignite plants in order to produce the required quantities of electricity. For example, “Meliti” does not have sufficient quantities of lignite in its “yard”, the lignite mining in the mines of Megalopolis is facing problems with the rains, while the public company is said to be requesting an exception for the operation of the unit “Agios Dimitrios 5” before the completion of the desulphurisation program.

The aforementioned problems, according to the same sources, were caused by the reduction of the maintenance of the units and the preparation of the mines for the extraction of more quantities of lignite. And the obstacles were created after the decisions for the de-lignification and the planning of PPC to close its factories. So, in the period before the outbreak of the summer crisis and now of the energy crisis, the company was guided by the termination of the operation of its units.

Thus, these issues come to the fore at a particularly difficult time for the country’s security of power supplies.

Other uncertainties

According to sources, the uncertainties of the adequacy of water in the reservoirs of the hydroelectric production as well as the possibility of ensuring electricity imports at any time will be on the table of today’s meeting.

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Sources want the reservoirs of PPC’s hydroelectric stations to be at low levels due to the drought, so it is a big question whether the water is easy to use at any time.

Something similar happens with imports. And this as the energy crisis hits other neighboring countries.

Natural gas

The conditions for the production of electricity from natural gas are considered satisfactory.

The last auctions of DESFA for the allocation of spaces in the tanks of Revythousa, in order to store quantities of LNG, closed positively. Producers and suppliers of natural gas rushed and secured relevant premises, with the result that by 2022 there are alternative quantities of natural gas.

In addition, private power generators are said to be committed to the full operation of their units.

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