Brussels warns Chinese, Czech investors over PPC units sale

Prospective buyers of main power utility PPC lignite-fired power stations included in a bailout-required disinvestment package representing 40 percent of PPC’s overall lignite capacity will need to comply with regulations and utilize these power stations as independently as possible from PPC, the European Commission has noted in a stern warning presumed to be directed at China’s CHN Energy and the Czech Republic’s Seven Energy, both interested in the sale.

CHN Energy, expected to bid for PPC’s Megalopoli and Meliti power stations along with the Copelouzos group as a bidding partner, is owned by the Chinese state, also the owner of State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), holding a 24 percent stake in Greek power grid operator IPTO, until recently a PPC subsidiary.

As is widely known, the European Commission has not embraced Chinese involvement in strategic firms located on European territory. It is believed IPTO will need to undergo a renewed certification procedure if CHN Energy submits an offer for the two aforementioned PPC power stations.

The Czech Republic’s Seven Energy, planning to join forces with Terna for the PPC sale, has proposed a still-unspecified collaboration with PPC entailing a share of profits and losses over a six-year period.