Government to deploy four-point plan for energy crisis, increase use of lignite coal
Monday, 18 July 2022
GA four-point plan to ensure an adequate supply of energy at affordable prices, which pivots on a doubling of electric power production using lignite coal, was decided on at a meeting of the Committee for the Management of Energy Crises chaired by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, according to Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) sources.
At the meeting on Thursday, Public Power Corporation (PPC) CEO Georgios Stassis said power production using coal will rise to 10 TWh as follows:
- Priority inclusion of lignite power plants in the daily power production schedule, as it is not technically desirable to constantly vary their production levels.
- Giving enough time to pay off investments that will be needed for the intensive exploitation of existing coal mines and to open new ones, estimated at around 150 million euros.
- Guarantees that the costs of the PPC and contractors will be covered in the currently unlikely scenario that natural gas prices collapse.
- Abolition of a clause that requires the PPC to sell 40-50 pct of its power production from lignite coal at lower prices to independent producers until 2023, as part of a deal reached in an antitrust case concerning its monopoly of lignite in 2007.
Effectively, coal-powered electricity production will replace that using more expensive and possibly entirely unavailable natural gas, with the cost estimated to be roughly half that of natural gas at current prices. A major hurdle will be increasing production from coal mines in such a short space of time.