Amynteo, Meliti on PPC sale list plan, nearly finalized

Greece’s proposal for a bailout-required main power utility PPC sale list containing 40 percent of the utility’s lignite capacity appears to be acquiring its final shape with just one or two revisions likely before the plan is forwarded to the European Commission as a starting point for negotiations leading to a finalized version by autumn, ahead of a market test expected in October.

The Greek proposal may be addressed at a PPC board meeting today. Energy minister Giorgos Stathakis has stressed that time is running out, noting that the proposal needs to be delivered to Brussels by mid-July.

As for the proposal’s content, Greek officials will most likely provide to the European Commisssion a version that is most favorable for PPC. The utility’s main objective is to give up assets not included in its medium to long-term strategic plans.

This essentially means that PPC will strive keep its Agios Dimitrios facility, which, so far, has not been included on the sale list prepared by local officials, as well as one of the utility’s two most modern facilities, preferably Ptolemaida or, alternatively, Meliti.

It is being reported that PPC’s Amynteo and Meliti – both the exisiting Meliti unit and a license for construction of an additional Meliti lignite-fired unit – will be included on the sale list. If not, sufficient investor interest in the PPC sale package cannot be assured.

The Amynteo unit’s inclusion appears highly probable despite a recent landslide that interrupted operations at the facility. The Amynteo unit is expected to be offered along with another mine, Lakkia, which could feed the lignite-fired power station until the Amynteo mine returns to play.

As for possible alternatives to be included in the Greek proposal, the Megalopoli facility may be presented as an alternative to Amynteo and Ptolemaida to Meliti.

At this point, the level of prospective interest to be expressed by investors in the PPC sale list remains uncertain. PPC’s full focus on lignite units and exclusion of hydropower units already appears to have dampened the interest of investors, especially European enterprises refusing to invest in coal and lignite-based technologies.