Ptolemaïda power station

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Ptolemaida power station is a 550-megawatt coal-fired power station in Greece. A fifth unit of 660 MW, Ptolemaida V, is under construction.

Location

The undated satellite photo below shows the original Ptolemaida power station in Western Macedonia, Greece.

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The Ptolemaida expansion is being built at a separate site approximately 5 miles north of the original power station. The photo shows the project site for Ptolemaida V.

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Background

The plant had five units of 620 MW. The first unit was commissioned in 1959 and the last in 1973. Unit 1 (70 MW) was retired on 18 June 2010 after 50 years of operation. It is owned by Public Power Corp (DEH), and fueled by the adjacent Ptolemais-Amyntaio lignite coal basin. Unit 2 is on standby mode.[1][2]

Units 3 and 4 were destroyed in a fire in 2014.[3]

Ptolemaida V expansion

Ptolemaida V is to be the fifth coal-fired unit at the Ptolemaida power station, with a generating capacity of 660 megawatts. In 2012, the total budget for the construction of the plant was estimated 1.32 billion euros. German development bank KfW agreed to cover approximately half of construction costs.[4]

The plant was permitted in March 2013.[5] In April 2013 Terma SA and Hitachi Power Europe were chosen to construct the plant.[6]

The plant will be constructed on the site of a dismantled lignite mine. Construction is set to begin in 2015, and the plant is scheduled to begin commercial operation in 2019.[7]

In September 2015, PPC said it planned to begin construction on Ptolemaida V once "the necessary checks and procedures are concluded."[8] However, according to the WWF, the start of construction requires a deposit of 400 million euros within 2015, which will come from the public company's funds at a time when the Greek government is facing mounting debts: "it is completely irrational for any publicly-owned company to disburse 400 million euros for a project that is economically non-viable."[9]

Construction on the new unit began in 2016.[10] It is now planned for 2022.[11]

In December 2019, plant sponsor PPC said it will finish construction of the lignite coal plant by 2022 and operate it until 2028, the year of Greece's planned coal phase-out. Environmental organizations have advocated to transform the half-built plant into sustainable energy infrastructure instead.[12]

In May 2021, Greece said it was moving up its coal phaseout to 2025, rather than 2028. As a result, PPC said it will likely convert Ptolemaida into a gas-fired unit in 2025.[13]

As of March 2022, Unit 5 was still slated for commissioning by the end of the year.[14] In July 2022, the expansion's launch was expected in either October or November.[15]

In September 2022, the Public Power Corporation announced that trial operations would take place through the end of the year, and the unit would be connected to the grid by March 2023.[16] In October 2022, preliminary testing was underway, and full-scale trial operations were slated for late October or early November.[17]

Financing

In 2015, the expansion total cost was estimated at 1.4 billion euros. German development bank agreed to provide a 739 million euro bond loan in 2013, supported by the German Export Credit Agency Euler Hermes and arranged by the KfW IPEX Bank. Besides KfW, the project has struggled to secure funding.[18] The European Investment Bank has withdrawn funding from the expansion project because of its high levels of CO2 emissions and other pollutants.[19]

Opposition

In April 2014 WWF Greece and WWF Germany met with the KfW Bank Group, in order to hand over the petition signed by 15,000 citizens calling the development bank to refrain from financing Ptolemaida V.[20] The German government has been repeatedly criticized for coal lending: From 2006 to 2013, German taxpayers put up roughly €3.3 billion in overseas export and development credits linked to coal.[19]

Project Details of expansion

  • Sponsor: Public Power Corporation of Greece
  • Parent company:
  • Developer: Terma SA, Hitachi Power Europe
  • Location: Ptolemaida, Eordaia, West Macedonia, Greece
  • Coordinates: 40.48933960813644, 21.774474075217174 (exact)
  • Status: Construction
  • Capacity: 660 MW
  • Type: Ultra super-critical
  • Start date: 2022
  • Coal Type: Lignite
  • Coal Source:
  • Source of financing: KfW Bank

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. "Ptolemais Coal Power Plant Greece" Global Energy Observation, accessed on November 21, 2012.
  2. "Lignite-Fired Plants in Greece," Industcards, accessed April 2016
  3. "Ptolemaida power plant destroyed by fire," The TOC, Nov 10, 2014
  4. "German funds to go to Ptolemaida V plant" Ekathimerini, November 21, 2012, Archived Mar. 30, 2014
  5. "Ptolemais V," Public Power Corporation of Greece, Mar 29, 2013.
  6. "Hitachi Power Europe and Terna S.A. will construct Ptolemais V," Hitachi, 9 April 2013
  7. "Hitachi wins order for 660 MW lignite power plant in Greece," Hitachi.com, Apr 9, 2013
  8. "Provision of LG for the Construction of the new Lignite Unit Ptolemaida V," PPC Announcement, Sep 17, 2015
  9. "Reality surpasses Ptolemaida V. Will PPC insist?" WWF, 31 July 2015
  10. "SES PTOLEMAIS," GEK Terna Group, accessed Sep 2016
  11. "Greek coal: The EU’s dirty little secret" Euractiv, 25 Jan 2018
  12. "Πτολεμαΐδα 5: Ο ελέφαντας στο δωμάτιο της απολιγνιτοποίησης," Energy Press, December 16, 2019
  13. "Greece brings coal exit forward three years to 2025," Beyond Coal Europe, April 22, 2021
  14. "Fitch Affirms Public Power Corporation at 'BB-'; Outlook Stable," Fitch Ratings, March 8, 2022
  15. "Lignite units back in full force, 34% of energy mix in June," Energy Press, July 14, 2022
  16. "PPC to launch new lignite plant by March 2023," Ekathimerini, September 7, 2022
  17. "PPC’s Ptolemaida V nearing full-scale test, lignite output up," Energypress, October 6, 2022
  18. Nikos Mantzaris, Ptolemaida V: a new economic disaster in the making?, The Press Project, Mar. 31, 2015
  19. 19.0 19.1 "New coal-fired power enjoys support among bankers in Germany and Asia," E&E, August 13, 2015
  20. "Thousands of citizens call on the KfW Bank Group to stop investing in coal, starting from Greece," WWF, April 16, 2014.

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