Basic strategy for phasing out lignite has not changed, says PPC CEO

ATHENS – The Public Power Corporation (PPC) has not changed its basic strategy for phasing out the use of lignite coal in the long term, PPC Chairman and CEO Giorgos Stassis said on Saturday in statements to the Athenian-Macedonian News Agency (ANA). .

“The PPC will act with realism and flexibility, measuring the evolutions of the international and national energy market, as well as the decisions of the European Commission for the adjustments of the energy market. One thing is certain: the long-term strategy for lignite disposal has not changed,” he said.

Stassis made the statement following an announcement last week by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of increased power generation using lignite “to reduce our dependence on natural gas in the short term.”

According to the Prime Minister, “the decision to gradually reduce the share of lignite in electricity production was correct, remains correct and imperative, not only for environmental reasons but also for economic reasons”. He noted that the use of lignite was an emergency solution to this specific conjunction, in order to replace the temporarily more expensive and less abundant natural gas due to the sanctions against Russia.

The PPC’s proposal, which was accepted, was to ensure a sufficient quantity of lignite in the yards of the generators in order to cover the demand in the event of a problem with the supply of natural gas. To this end, PPC Coal Mines will increase production by 45 pct.

In terms of power generation units, the following currently applies:

– From autumn, the new 660 MW PPC power plant using lignite, Ptolemaida 5, will start operating on a pilot basis. Its conversion to natural gas, given recent international developments, now seems likely to take place in 2028, as initially planned, and not to be brought forward to 2025. In the second half of the year, the 826 MW Mytilineos plant using natural gas natural gas, at the energy center of Agios Nikolaos in Boeotia, will come into commercial operation.

– Lignite phase-out planning included withdrawal of units 1,2,3 and 4 at Agios Dimitrios by the end of the year and units Agios Dimitrios 5, Meliti and Megalopoli 4 by the end of 2023 The new parameter, according to the Prime Minister, is that the possible continuation of the exploitation of some of them will now be examined in the light of energy prices and the availability of natural gas. The coal-fired Agios Dimitrios 4 unit will continue to operate after the end of 2022, regardless, to ensure the continuous supply of the Kozani teleheating system.

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