Minister Warns that Greece’s Power Grid is at “Breaking Point”



    Blackout in Halkidiki

    The Minister for Environment and Energy, Kostis Hatzidakis, mentioned this morning to SKAI, that the electrification system in Greece is facing big problems. The power system in the country is at its limit.

    “If there is a blackout, there is a reason. I can not rule anything out, but I do not want to scare the people either. We will do whatever we can so there are no issues in the country. On Monday we had a problem in the center of Athens. The day before yesterday we had a problem in Lasithi, Crete.”

    “In many ways, the country’s electricity system has been neglected. It’s at its limit. It is not just because of the financial problem that PPC (Public Power Corporation) is facing, and that it’s on the brink of bankruptcy. This is of course one thing, but there are a number of other problems… The situation is not pleasant. Due to increased demand in the summer there are issues. For example, the cable connection between the island of Crete and Mainland Greece has not progressed. As a result, we transfer generating pairs at a cost.”

    When asked about the urgent issue of electrification in the Halkidiki region, the whole situation and how it was handled, as well as what will happen now, Hatzidakis commented: “The electrification problem is centered on the Cassandra peninsula. There was a great deal of damage to the electrical pillars.”

    The Minister added that throughout the rest of Halkidiki there is electricity. For the Cassandra peninsula, efforts were made with power generators, with whatever was available in Greece since most are used on Crete, Santorini and Rhodes, as the electricity system in the country is at its limit.

    They used power generators from individuals, the army, and they even tried from Belgium but it takes too much time and this will not help the situation.

    The work being done on the electrical pillars of ADMIE (Independent Power Transmission Operator) in Potidaia is trying to be finished by noon. ADMIE and HEDNO (Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator) assured the Minister that between noon or a little later on in the day the problem will be solved throughout all of Halkidiki.

    The electricity might go on and off in the first few hours, however everything is on its way to be fixed, “we did everything we could”, said Hatzidakis.

    “I also gave directions to ADMIE and HEDNO to transfer as many crews as possible,” with HEDNO sending 50 crews to restore the damages and the electricity.

    A lot of hard work was put in to fix the damages made by the bad weather, and everything humanly possible was done.

    “It was also difficult for me, as I am a three-day minister to communicate and work with people I did not know.”

    Finally, the Minister for Environment and Energy underlined the issue of PPC and the future of the company claiming that in the first months of the new government, the PPC issue will proceed and a new administration will be placed. Studies will be looked at and the main goal will be to save the company.

    “Our intention is to exhaust every margin in order not to increase PPC rates. It is not our intention, I expect to be fully informed,” said Hatzidakis.