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Italy: Energy firms deny breach of power market competition rules

 |  October 9, 2016

Two major Italian energy companies had by Friday both rejected claims that their power plants breached competition rules between March and June of this year to cash in on “excessively high prices”.

Italian competition regulator AGCM said on Thursday it had opened an investigation into energy groups Enel and Sorgenia involving their power plants in the Brindisi area, in the country’s south.

The investigation will focus on the plants’ activities in Italy’s day-ahead, intra-day and ancillary services markets between 27 March-15 June, when wholesale electricity prices in the area rose sharply.

Enel and Sorgenia’s plants allegedly engineered the prices when selling electricity to transmission system operator (TSO) Terna for balancing services in the area, which is one of Italy’s main grid bottlenecks. These prices would have been achieved by withdrawing production from the spot markets, forcing the TSO to buy from those plants at higher prices in the MSD ancillary services market for balancing purposes, AGCM said.

“Therefore, both [Enel’s production arm] Enel Produzione and Sorgenia would have found themselves in the position of essential providers in certain hours of the period under review – [a] position from which they seem to have taken advantage of to impose excessive prices on Terna,” AGCM said.

Full Content: ICIS

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