Greece and coal

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While Greece produces no hard coal it is the second largest European producer of lignite after Germany, with approximately 80 million tonnes mined in 2004. The largest domestic coal producer is the government-owned Public Power Corporation (PPC), which controls approximately 63% of the known coal reserves.[1] In addition, hard coal is imported from South Africa, Russia, Venezuela, and Colombia.[2]

Power Generation

Approximately 75 percent of the country's electricity is sourced from thermal power stations, predominantly coal. According to the U.S. Geological Survey lignite accounted for approximately 65% of the fuel for the country’s power generation.[2] Greece's electricity generation capacity has grown by 50% in the last decade and projections are for an additional 6,000 megawatts being required by 2015. The bulk of additional capacity is expected to come from gas-fired plants.[3]

Since 2001, the monopoly of PPC on power generation has been reduced and the market opened up to private power generators. The Energy Information Service notes that "since PPC lost its legal monopoly, the Greek government has issued licenses for over 2,750 MW of private thermal generating plants. However, most private producers have been unable to finance plants. As a result, PPC still produced 96 percent of Greece’s electricity in 2004. Apart from refurbishments, the Greek government has legally prevented PPC from bidding for tenders to build the first round of new capacity, totaling 900MW, until 2010."[3]

Proposed Coal-Fired Power Stations

  • Agios Nikolaos Power Station in Beotia is proposed by Mytilineos and Endesa, which have formed a joint venture company named Endesa Hellas, to have an installed capacity of 600 megawatts; the estimated cost is 890 million euros. A securities analyst reported in May 2007 that the company had submitted an application for a power generation license.[4] In July 2007, Endesa Hellas reported that the company aimed to have the "clean coal" plant online by the first half of 2013. (It also flagged that plans for a "clean coal" plant of unstated capacity were under development for a location in Albania).[5]
  • Astakos Power Station in Etoloakarnania is a proposal by T-Power - a consortium of Edison and Hellenic Petroleum -- for a 600 megawatt project that Power in Europe describes as being in the "pre-proposal" stage.[6]

Coal Mining

The International Energy Agency lists the major Greek lignite mining operations in 2005 as being:[7]

  • Ptolemais (PPC) Western Macedonia 46.08 million tonnes with 1280.7 million tonnes of reserves and a notional life of 28 years
  • Amyndaion (PPC) Western Macedonia 8.52 million tonnes with 165.3 million tonnes of reserves and a notional life of 19 years
  • Megalopolis (PPC) Peloponnese 14.44 million tonnes with 251.1 million tonnes of reserves and a notional life of 17 years
  • Florina (PPC) Western Macedonia 0.86 million tonnes with 138.4 million tonnes of reserves and a notional life of 161 years
  • Drama Eastern Macedonia 900,000 tonnes
  • Elassona (PPC) Central Greece 169,000 tonnes
  • Komnina (PPC) Western Macedonia 100 ,000 tonnes
  • Privately-owned mines Western Macedonia 2.02 million tonnes with 191 million tonnes of reserves and a notional life of 95 years.

Articles and Resources


  1. Energy Information Administration, "Greece: Coal", Energy Information Administration, undated, accessed July 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Harold R. Newman, "The Mineral Industry of Greece", 2005 Minerals Yearbook, U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey, December 2007.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Energy Information Administration, Greece: Electricity", Energy Information Administration website, approx 2006, accessed July 2008.
  4. "JV with Endesa provides great prospects in Greece and SE Europe", Beta Securities, May 10, 2007.
  5. Endesa Hellas, "ENDESA Hellas Board of Directors: Convenes to Decisions", Media Release, July 30, 2007.
  6. "PiE’s new power plant project tracker – April 2008", Power in Europe, Issue 523, April 7, 2008, page 24.
  7. International Energy Agency, Energy Policies of IEA Countries: Greece: 2006 Review, 2006, page 135. (Pdf)

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