PPC S.A. implements actions aiming to control and reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide SO2, nitrogen oxide NOx and suspended particles from large combustion installations running on solid or liquid fuels.

Air Pollutant Emissions


Consumption of fossil fuels in Thermal power plants generates air pollutants which contribute to air and transboundary pollution, the most important of which are sulfur dioxides (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and suspended particles. PPC S.A. implements actions aiming to control and reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide SO2, nitrogen oxides NOx and suspended particles from large combustion installations running on solid or liquid fuels. 

Every existing combustion unit operates in accordance with the general principles governing the Corporation’s basic obligations whereas all necessary measures to achieve a high level of environmental protection are put in place.  

Further reductions in SO2, NOx and particle emissions per kWh of generated power have been achieved in PPC thermal power plants by implementing  the Best Available Techniques. For instance, the replacement/expansion program of old electrostatic filters in lignite-fired plants with new high-performance ones, as a result of which particle emissions (flue dust) dropped drastically in the course of the last decade.  

Under the Transitional National Emission Reduction Plan (TNERP) for 2016 – 2020, the Company is laying out the requisite investments for the environmental upgrading of  Agios Dimitrios and Megalopolis lignite-fired TPPs to adapt them to Best Available Techniques and further reduce air pollutant emissions. 

The investments under way mainly involve works to reduce NOx emissions (replacement of existing burners with low NOx emission ones, installing additional or/and modifying existing  air post-combustion systems and, generally, any other primary measure to be considered suitable for achieving the adopted targets) at the lignite-fired TPP Units of Agios Dimitrios and Megalopolis, and sulfur dioxide emissions at Agios Dimitrios TPP (Units ΙΙΙ, ΙV, V).  

In 2019 air pollutant emissions (by PPC and subsidiaries) were reduced compared to 2018, mainly due to the reduced generation of lignite-fired plants. 


2017 (tons)

2018 (tons)

2019 (tons)
Sulfur oxides (SOX)  38.500 29.200 (32.500)  26.200 (29.800)
Nitrogen oxides (NOx)  46.300  42.300 (45.000)  36.900 (39.300)
Particles (PM)  3.820 2.810 (2.900)  1.630 (1.710) 
Pb 2,13  2,24 (2,37) 1,35 (1,44)
Ni*  9,18 7,85 (8,03) 5,20 (5,37) 
Cu 3,89 3,75 (3,84)  2,31 (2,38)
Cr(tot)  5,35 5,81 (6,12)  2,58 (2,81) 
Zn 7,38 6,75 (7,68)  3,91 (4,57) 
Cd 0,40 0,263 (0,292)  0,160 (0,180) 
Hg  0,69 0,515 (0,648)  0,283 (0,614) 
As 1,49 1,17 (1,20)  0,617 (0,639)

(1) The information on the table includes data published by PPC in the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (Ε-PRTR, Regulation 166/2006/EC) with regard to the Interconnected system and the islands of Crete and Rhodes. Final ex-post data on years 2017, 2018 and 2019.
(2) For comparability reasons, the emissions in parenthesis include emissions from TPPs of PPC S.A. and subsidiaries, Lignitiki Megalopolis S.A. and Lignitiki Melitis S.A. 

Schematic representation of reduction of special SO2, NOx, dust και CO2 emissions 

The measures implemented by PPC S.A. to this date have been crucial in drastically reducing air pollutant emissions and CO2 emissions factor in the overall system of power generation.

Reduction of air pollutant emissions through time




Air quality monitoring network

To control air quality in the wider Power Plant areas, PPC has since 1975 been taking systematic measurements and keeping print records of basic air pollutant and meteorological parameter readings by metering station networks equipped with semi-automatic analyzers.  

In 1997 the gradual modernization of existing air quality and meteorological parameter metering station networks was initiated with the use of automatic electronic analyzers and meteorological sensors, P/Cs for the automatic round-the-clock collection and recording of data and a configuration for remote transmission to preset recipients. 

To monitor air emissions, PPC operates a network of 28 air quality and meteorological parameter metering stations in the wider areas of Power Plants and Mines which is developed further, if required.  

The following Table presents metering stations and measured pollutants: sulfur dioxide, SO2nitrogen oxides, NOxsuspended particles, PM10, PM2,5 

PPC air quality metering stations in the wider Power Plant and Mine areas

Location Number of stations

Measured  air pollutants

Northern System(1)  8 SO2, NOx, PM10, PM 2,5 
Lavrio 1 SO2, NOx, PM10
Aliveri 2 SO2, NOx, PM10
Komotini 1 NOx
Chania 3 NOx
Linoperamata  3 SO2, NOx, PM10
Atherinolakkos(1)  3 SO2, NOx, PM10, PM 2,5 
Rhodes 3 SO2, NOx, PM10, PM 2,5 
Kos 1 SO2, NOx, PM10, PM 2,5 
Samos 1 SO2, NOx, PM10
Chios 1 SO2, NOx, PM10, PM 2,5 
Lesvos 1 SO2, NOx, PM10, PM 2,5 
Total 28(3)   

(1) Northern System refers to PPC stations network in the Region of Western Macedonia. 
(2) The measurement station in Kattavia, Rhodes (associated with the new Southern Rhodes HPP) began to operate on 12.09.2018. 
(3) Ligntiki Megalopolis S.A. runs 3 air quality and meteorological parameters measurement stations whereas Lignitiki Melitis S.A. runs 2 stations. 

The responsible entities are systematically informed about air pollutant emissions with annual and quarterly excess reports, as required under the Approval Decisions of Environmental Terms,  and alerted immediately (within 24 hours) in case of exceeding limits,  damage to anti-pollution equipment, etc.   

Location criteria for Air Quality Metering Stations

The location of air quality measurement stations, hence, of the metering network, directly affects the representativeness of measurements. The choice of location must take into account the following parameters: 

  • The overall targets of the monitoring system which determine appropriate areas of greater interest.
  • Survey data and prevailing weather conditions which determine the dispersion of pollutants.
  • Existing air quality data.
  • Model simulations, the results of which can help significantly in selecting location.
  • Other information such as demographics, distribution and health of local population, land uses.

The purpose of a metering network may be to monitor locations of maximum concentrations or locations where the population is exposed to maximum concentrations in the short or long run or to cover as extensive an area as possible or provide the best possible description of spatial distribution of pollutants, to focus on densely populated areas, etc.  

Northern System: Short-term Action Plans to combat air pollution from suspended particles

Air pollution values are monitored with regard to the following parameters: 

Measures to be taken

In case of a pollution event, the following action steps are taken: 

Download the file

The Environmental Center of the Region of Western Macedonia (KEPE) has installed and put into operation four additional Air Quality Metering Stations (AQMS) at: Kozani, Ptolemaida, Karyochori and Akrini. 

The Northern System – West Macedonia AQMS Network as a whole (Air Quality Metering Stations of  PPC and the West Macedonia Region)

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