According to Public Power Corporation (PPC), the mechanical equipment at the new coal-fired Ptolemaida V power plant is currently undergoing preliminary testing ahead of a full-scale trial operation, which is expected to start in late October or early November. The launch of commercial operation is scheduled for early January 2023.
The new power plant will initially use lignite as the main fuel, but its is supposed to switch to natural gas at a later date. According to current timetable, this would be done in 2025, but it may be delayed due to the ongoing energy crisis.
The launch of the plant in the middle of the heating season would save significant amounts of natural gas which would be otherwise used for electricity generation.
PPC made the final investment decision on the project nine years ago. Ptolemaida V has an installed capacity of 610 MW. This is a low- emitting facility with a high performance level that will be able to rival natural gas-fired power plants.
Amidst the energy crisis and uncertainties over Russian gas supply, Greek Government has decided to increase lignite production and, subsequently, lignite-fired electricity generation. The goal is to double coal-fired generation in a year’s time – from 5 to 10 TWh.
Greek coal-fired electricity generation has rose significantly in the past year: it rose by 61 % in July compared to the same month in 2021 and by 27 % in August.