October 25, 2016 / 4:06 PM / 3 years ago

Greece concludes first power capacity auction

ATHENS, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Greece concluded its first electricity auction on Tuesday, part of its plans to end the dominance of its Public Power Corp (PPC) utility and open up its power market under an international bailout signed up last year.

PPC, which is 51 percent owned by the state, controls about 60 percent of Greece’s wholesale electricity market and about 90 percent of the retail market.

Under last year’s financial aid deal, Greece’s third since 2010, Athens committed to introduce electricity auctions to lower PPC’s share of the retail and wholesale market to less than 50 percent by 2020.

Electricity market operator LAGIE organised the first power capacity auction on Tuesday, selling 4,029,600 megawatt-hours which PPC will produce next year, according to the results of the auction.

Some 12 producers bid at an opening price set at 37.37 euros ($41) per megawatt-hour.

Relying on their gas-fired plants, smaller producers have been increasingly taking up PPC’s share in the retail market. The share has dropped to 88 percent from about 90 percent in August.

Power auctions will now allow them to secure higher profit margins, since they are buying PPC’s production which mainly comes from coal-fired and hydroelectric plants and is cheaper, analysts said. ($1 = 0.9184 euros) (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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