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New RES levy splits Energy Ministry

As critics focus on Hatzidakis, while the controversy continues on who will pay the bill, the question is whether the issue has reached the prime minister’s office. At the moment, this has not been the case.

Calculations and scenarios are being put together in an attempt to displease as few people as possible among the “old” energy producers, ie those who will foot the bill of a 278 million euro deficit in the special RES account: This is how the processes at the Energy Ministry have been described as taking place, as sources speak of a split in views on what ultimately needs to be done.

Unlike Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, who raised the issue, Secretary General of Energy Alexandra Sdoukou does not seem to be pushing for a solution here and now. Moreover, the deficit is an accounting shortfall, meaning that it does not affect money paid to producers.

PPC, which in the past used to pay into the RES fund , through ETMEAR, has been paying its share months now.  So RES producers are being paid on time, however the question is for how much longer.

As critics focus on Hatzidakis, while the controversy continues on who will pay the bill, the question is whether the issue has reached the prime minister’s office. At the moment, this has not been the case.

Sources say, however, that RES foreign players have expressed their dissatisfaction at a high level. And they have argued that the problem is not the charge itself but a change in the rules of the game. Annoyance from parent companies is said to be intense, in the sense that there is nothing worse for an investor than breaking a past agreement.

Sources say that as of next week Hatzidakis will start meeting with market players, possibly also representatives of foreign investment groups. Some are speculating that a 4-5 percent tax hike may bo in the cards, without any final decisions having been decided upon.

The point is that precisely because the government has not yet taken a clear position, this leaves room for rivalries. Upon hearing, for example, that four multinationals present in Greece are preparing a joint letter - intervention to be sent to the Ministry of Environment & Energy and the prime minister’s office, the Hellenic Union of Industrial Consumers of Energy (UNICEN)  launched an attack against them, demanding the abolition of RES subsidies here and now.

"There is no room for subsidies to continue", says the president of UNICEN An. Kontoleon and adds that "it i , at the least, provocative, for thousands of employees in the industry, when an intervention, which can be perceived as blackmail, comes from multinational RES companies so that they do not to lose their guaranteed returns, which obviously poor Greece gives them from money it does not have ". The energy market’s current phase and the government delays in clarifying what will be happen, risks a worsening of the problem.

In this phase, however, those who seem to have come out ahead of other players, are ENEL, IBERDROLA, EDF, TOTAL EREN. Their leaders say that in the next few days they will inform the government of concerns about Hatzidakis' statements and the risk of re-examining investment plans in our country, as a consequence of the insecurity created by any subsequent change of terms in signed RES contracts.

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