Commercial electricity flows between Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece will remain limited for an least the next year, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) said on Monday (19th September).
Market participants were expecting to see an increase in the amount of electricity traded on the relevant borders following the end of ongoing trial operations carried out between the Turkish system and the European grids.
The third phase of the trial operation was due to finish on Sunday, but ENTSO-E decided to prolong the tests until September 2012 following a technical evaluation of the grid synchronisation.
“Interconnection of the new power system to the synchronous area of Continental Europe is a serious technical challenge requiring intensive, detailed studies to be performed by experts from ENTSO-E and TEIAŞ [Turkish grid operator] and significant adjustments to the Turkish transmission and generation infrastructure to be made in order to meet the technical standards,” ENTSO-E said in a statement.
Turkish market participants expressed mixed feelings regarding the news.
One source welcomed the announcement, insisting that it would allow companies to minimise their risk over the coming months.
He explained that the Turkish power market is still risky as there are a number of
uncertainties related to a pending gas price increase that would translate into a hike in electricity values as well as the evolution of prices on local electricity exchange PMUM.
“If we had to bid for annual auctions there would have been a higher degree of risk,” he said. “If there are no annual auctions, then the risk will be spread across the monthly components.”
Another source was disappointed, claiming the currently allocated capacity was not enough to allow companies on either side of the borders to make enough profit.
“A total of 100MW on the Greek border is not enough,” the source said. “We were all expecting the capacities to be increased. As it is, there is limited ground to play in,” he added.
Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria were given the green light for limited commercial flows in June following the successful completion of the second and first stages, which were purely technical (see EDEM 10 May 2011).
The synchronisation operation began in September 2010, when the Turkish system started parallel trial interconnection with southeastern Europe through a 400kV line with Greece and two 400kV lines with Bulgaria (see EDEM 20 September 2010).
(THE ICIS HEREN REPORTS - EDEM 15179 / 19 September 2011)