Cyprus Mail

Power market liberalisation may take three more years

Under a 2006 law, the EAC was subject to a dividends payout to the state based on its after-tax surplus over the previous fiscal year

Diko lawmaker Angelos Votsis said that Cypriot private power producers will have to wait another three years before they can gain access to the electricity market, the Cyprus News Agency reported.

Votsis who was commenting to reporters following a closed-door session of the commerce and industry parliamentary committee to which the head of the Cyprus Regulatory Authority (CERA) and the head of the Transmission System Operator (TSO) were invited, said that after the hearing he was pessimistic about the course of the undertaking, the Cyprus News Agency reported.

The Diko lawmaker who chairs the committee said that it will take up to eight months for the TSO to prepare market regulations based on CERA’s regulatory framework and it will take two additional years to operate the transmission system’s software.

The parliamentary committee conveyed four days after the Administrative Court ruled that CERA had no right to freeze reviewing applications submitted by private investors to produce and sell power to consumers. National electricity markets in the European Union were completely liberalised in 2014.

On Tuesday, CERA said in response to a question by the Cyprus Business Mail that its lawyers are still studying the court decision and declined to further comment.

“We consider this undertaking a pipedream and this is how it will develop if you take into account how things work with tenders (and) appeals,” Votsis said. “Our foremost concern is the interest of the consumers and companies which need to have the possibility to buy cheap electricity”.

Currently, the state-owned power producer Electricity Authority of Cyprus has a monopoly in power generation with conventional fuel and supply. The government reneged on its commitment to privatise the company last year after its unions threatened to strike and announced its intention to split the company in two. DIKO traditionally opposes privatisations.

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