Brussels OK’s aid for non-interconnected island power units

The European Commission has found Greek plans to support the modernisation of power plants on non-interconnected Greek islands to be in line with EU state aid rules.

In December, 2015, Greece notified plans to grant the main power utility PPC a State guarantee, which would enable the company to secure a €190 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB). This loan will cover half of the costs for the necessary upgrade, expansion and refurbishment of existing power plants on 18 islands not connected to the electricity grid of the mainland.

PPC will finance the other half of the costs from its own budget. The measure involves state aid, because the terms of the public loan are more favourable than those a commercial operator would have accepted.

The Commission found that this aid is in line with EU rules, in particular the Commission’s 2011 rules on services of general economic interest, since the measure is necessary to allow PPC to continue to supply consumers on the islands concerned with affordable electricity. It ensures the availability of the required electricity generation capacity on the islands concerned.