9 October 2002 – Portugal will introduce a deregulated power market for residential customers in June 2004, Economy Minister Carlos Tavares said on Tuesday. Low-voltage business customers will be given choice of supplier in January 2004.
Spain, which is scheduled to join Portugal in a single power market, is due to extend deregulation to all domestic users in 2003.
Tavares said that government could sell off its stake in the national power grid in 2003, probably by floating shares on the bourse.
Portugal’s government directly holds 70 percent of the national grid, with the remaining 30 per cent held by dominant utility Electricidade de Portugal (EDP).
Tavares saw “as possible” an exchange of shares between the Portuguese and Spanish national grids.
The Minister confirmed that a single Iberian power pool would start up by the end of the first half of 2003, with a spot market run in Spain and a term market run in Portugal.
At a summit last week, Portugal and Spain decided to delay launching the single Iberian power market to the first half of 2003, rather than in the New Year as originally planned.
Final cross-border power links and other measures under the single market scheme are expected to be finished in 2006.