Lender NOME demands to sink PPC, energy minister warns

The recently appointed energy minister Giorgos Stathakis is convinced that a latest bailout-required plan calling for main power utility PPC to offer 46 percent of its electricity production to NOME auction participants by 2019 will swiftly lead the utility to bankruptcy and, therefore, cannot be accepted as “forceful solutions will not be tolerated,” the minister has announced.

Local officials and the country’s creditors failed to reach an agreement over the weekend on lender demands wanting PPC to offer increased electricity to independent suppliers through the NOME auctions, whose legal framework has already been ratified. The NOME auctions were introduced in October.

Talks between the two sides are scheduled to carry on in search of a compromise deal, possibly today or during the week. Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis is scheduled to meet with the creditor representatives within the week in Athens for talks on the bailout’s energy sector issues.

The NOME auctions are intended to provide third parties with access to PPC’s low-cost lignite and hydropower sources as a measure to help break the utility’s market dominance.

The lenders are pushing for PPC to offer – in January – an electricity amount equivalent to 12 percent of consumption in 2016 as well as a repeat of an amount offered in 2016 (8 percent of consumption) next September. This accumulative 8 percent may be split into two amounts, 4 percent for the end of 2017 and a further 4 percent in mid-2018.

According to energypress sources, Greek officials had originally accepted the terms but are now rejecting them.