Uncertainty surrounds contribution of new Greek gas power plant

A new gas-fired power plant in Greece is still in its commissioning phase, making it difficult for the country’s energy sector to predict its contribution over this coming winter.

ICIS website reports that the Public Power Corporation (PPC)-owned, 811 MW Megalopolis 5 gas-fired power plant is expected to have a more stabilising influence on the Greek energy sector once fully commercially operational but until recently was producing just 246 MW of that capacity.
Megalopolis 5 gas-fired power plant
The plant remains in its commissioning phase with output unpredictable over the next two months, thought it did reach 815 MW in recent output.

This is more than enough to exert a major influence on the Greek wholesale market during the winter. Greece has just 17.6GW of installed generation capacity, some of which is less efficient and rarely runs.

A PPC spokesman told ICIS the plant was expected to start commercial operation by the end of the year, without specifying the exact date.

Market participants said the unit’s sporadic and inconsistent output was adding uncertainty to winter supply, meaning fundamental forecasting can be tantamount to rolling a dice.

The issue takes place because of how large the power plant is when running at maximum capacity: almost 15 per cent of average hourly Greek consumption.

“How this unit behaves affects all forecasts,” said a senior trader. “Especially as the quantities delivered affect the SMP and the volume not delivered can affect the day’s operation and imbalance pricing,” he added.

Supply in December is already threatened by issues with an electricity interconnector to Italy. A fault recently brought capacity to zero in both directions.

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