Power supply restrictions threaten Greece next month, if it does not find a way to cover the hole of 400 million euro in the energy market. This is the amount that the company coordinating the transmission network and the company responsible for the operation of the energy market owe to the Public Power Corporation DEI and private power producers. They cannot pay their debts to suppliers, because their customers are not paying their bills for electricity on time.
President and Chief Executive Officer of the Public Gas Corporation DEPA Harris Sachinis alarmed the Minister of Finance George Zanias and Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change Grigoris Tsaltas in a letter, in which he stated that DEI and the independent power producers owe to the company managed by him 300 million euro for the supply of natural gas for their manufacturing process.
DEPA in turn also owes money to the company coordinating the Greek natural gas supply network DESFA. Moreover, it will have to settle with its suppliers, especially with the Russian company Gazprom, in the middle of June. Even one day's delay could lead to suspended gas supplies to Greece.
The head of DEPA informed the political leadership that the company is considering entering into a syndicated loan, but the relevant procedures cannot be arranged before the beginning of September.
"DEPA will soon be forced to take action to cut the supplies and to reject the letters of guarantees of its major customers. Even in this case, natural gas supplies are likely to be suspended in June. The consequences will be disastrous for electricity production, 25% of which depends on natural gas supplies, and for all industrial and household consumers."
According to sources, DEPA, DEI and the Hellenic Association of Independent Power Producers suggested to the ministers two possible options for providing a larger part of the required 400 million euro.
The first one is to use 100 million euro from the bank accounts of the companies Energa and Hellas Power, which were frozen by court after revoking their licences because of non-payment of financial obligations. According to them, DEI could "borrow" the money, which, in fact, is due to the company. Another 250 million could be allocated to DEI as a down payment from the fund for deposits and loans. DEPA and the other companies stated that the representative of the International Monetary Fund in Greece Bob Traa has not opposed this proposal.
However, government decisions should support all these actions. According to sources, caretaker Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikramenos has been informed about the problem too.
Meanwhile, the company responsible for the operation of the energy market revoked the licence of the electric power supply company REVMAENA, because of outstanding duties. Over the next three months, the Public Power Corporation DEI will supply its 29,680 customers with electricity.