Brussels reserved over PPC lignite unit sale prospects

The European Commission appears subdued in its expectations of a successful sale of main power utility PPC lignite units, as required by the bailout, judging by the comments of a highly-ranked Brussels official.

“If the sale fails, we will first analyze why it did not succeed also what needs to be done for it succeed, and then make decisions,” the official told Greek journalists in Brussels yesterday but stopped short of stating that a sale plan concerning PPC hydropower facilities could again be brought to the fore. “If the current model doesn’t work we will need to see what went wrong,” the official added.

When asked if Brussels is troubled by state-controlled PPC’s financial standing, the official made note of recent favorable developments for the power utility as a result of government decisions ending a electricity supplier surcharge and lignite tax. An effort is being made to restructure PPC, as long as the corporation, itself, wants to be helped, the official pointed out.

Greek energy minister Giorgos Stathakis has noted binding offers for PPC’s lignite units, representing 40 percent of its lignite capacity, will be submitted by December 15, but admitted the bailout-required disinvestment would enter unchartered territory if the current procedure fails to deliver results.