By Haris Fludopoulos
The share of lignite in the electricity generation mix is moving upwards, according to the official data of the system operator ADMIE for June and the first half of the year. In particular, lignite production represented 18.9% of the conventional production mix in June. According to the official data of ADMIE, in the total mix of electricity production, lignite represented 10.9% in June, while at the six-month level 9.6%.
It is noted that lignite is expected to cover most of the country’s increased energy needs this winter in case the scenario of the reduction or interruption of Russian natural gas flows is verified, based on the plan drawn up by the government.
In particular, lignite production is projected to increase to 10TWh, from the current 5TWh and will reach 20% of the domestic electricity generation mix. It is worth mentioning that in 2021, according to the official data of ADMIE, lignites reached 5.3TWh representing 10% of the total electricity generation mix.
In order to increase lignite production, however, PPC has already proceeded with a significant increase in investments in mines, in order to ensure fuel for the lignite units. Specifically, the company has proceeded with a 50% increase in lignite mining. It is noted that before the crisis, PPC mined around 10.5 million tons of lignite annually, while in the context of the increase it is expected to exceed 15 million tons in the next two years, with the additional cost of mining estimated at around 50 million euros. , bringing the company’s total expenditure on mines to €150 million. With the increased amounts of lignite to be mined, it is estimated that there may be an increase of more than 40% in the lignite energy produced.
In fact, information indicates that interventions are being carried out even in the private mines of Achlada and Vevi. PPC’s goal is to ensure the continuous operation of 4 to 7 lignite units. Decisive in this direction is expected to be the operation of the new Ptolemaida 5 unit which is expected to start production in September.