#StateAid: Commission has approved a Greek state guarantee to improve electricity generation on islands

electricity_pylon_3_0Greek support for the modernisation of power plants on non-interconnected Greek islands is in line with EU state aid rules.

In December 2015 Greece notified plans to grant the Greek electricity company PPC a State guarantee, which would enable the company to secure a €190 million loan from the European Investment Bank (‘EIB’). The loan will cover half of the costs for the necessary upgrade, expansion and refurbishment of existing power plants on 18 islands not connected to the electricity grid of the mainland.

PPC will finance the other half of the costs from its own budget. The measure involves state aid, because the terms of the public loan are more favourable than those a commercial operator would have accepted. The Commission found that this aid is in line with EU rules, in particular the Commission’s 2011 rules on services of general economic interest (SGEI), since the measure is necessary to allow PPC to continue to supply consumers on the islands concerned with affordable electricity. It ensures the availability of the required electricity generation capacity on the islands concerned.

SGEI- Services of General Economic Interest are economic activities that would not be produced by market forces alone, or at least not in the form of an affordable service available indiscriminately to all. SGEI are carried out in the public interest under conditions defined by the State. SGEI range from large commercial activities, such as: postal services, energy supply, telecommunications or public transport, to social services, such as care for the elderly and disabled.

 

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Category: A Frontpage, Antitrust, Economy, Electricity interconnectivity, Energy, Energy market, Energy security, EU, European Commission, Greece

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