Bailout terms for IPTO sale could not be clearer

The third bailout agreement’s recent additions could not be clearer on the future of IPTO, the power grid operator, main power utility PPC’s wholly owned subsidiary, for which a strategic investor will need to be found within the year to take on at least a 20 percent share. According to the plan, the Greek State will acquire a 51 percent share, while the remainder will be offered to investors through the bourse.

The bailout’s IPTO breakaway plan underlines that if the international creditors conclude that satisfactory progress is not being made, especially on the effort to find a strategic investor, then IPTO will be fully privatized in 2017. In the latter case, dreaded by the Greek government, a tender will need to be announced by this coming October.

The revised bailout terms also specify that PPC’s wholesale and retail electricity market shares must be reduced by 20 percent until 2017 and reach less than than 50 percent by 2020. As part of the effort, NOME auctions will be introduced in September. The inaugural session will offer independent traders an electricity amount equivalent to eight percent of the total used in the grid in 2015.

Also in June, the Greek State, PPC’s majority shareholder, will authorize the utility to offer flexible, cost-based tariffs for the industrial sector at a PPC general shareholders meeting on June 30.

Greek lawmakers must ratify, by the end of the month, a revision to a RES-supporting ETMEAR surcharge included on electricity bills to ensure the RES special account’s sustainability and protect exisiting RES tariff levels. The RES special account’s existing deficit will need to be eliminated within twelve months, or no later than June, 2017.

Also natural gas market revisions, including new tariffs for network distribution and transport, measures securing increased natural gas amounts offered at the DEPA (Public Gas Corporation) auctions and increased access for independent suppliers, must also be made.