Commodity-based deals looked at for ‘Aluminium’ and Larco

The main power utility PPC is examining separate electricity tariff policies, beyond the industrial categories announced at yesterday’s shareholders meeting, for two of the country’s most energy-intensive industrial enterprises, Larco, a state-controlled general mining and nickel producer, and Aluminium of Greece, a member of the Mytilineos Group, the utility’s chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis has disclosed.

The PPC chief noted the tariff policies for these two industrial enterprises could be linked to international commodity prices for nickel and aluminium.

Panagiotakis revealed a proposal has already been offered to Larco, which, he admitted, is currently financially stricken, while adding that a similar offer could be extended to Aluminium of Greece.

For quite some time now, Larco has had trouble servicing a payback scheme through installments for an amount owed to the power utility. Last Friday, the mining and nickel producer failed to make a scheduled payment of 1.5 million euros.

Larco, whose shareholders include PPC, will need to convince with a strategic plan including serious investments promising long-term sustainability in order to reach a new electricity tariff deal with the power utility, sources noted.

Aluminium of Greece is covering a cost associated with a previous ruling and paying PPC approximately 125 million euros per year. PPC is awaiting a decision from the competition committee before tariff negotiations commence with Aluminium of Greece. A three-month negotiating period was approved at yesterday’s shareholders meeting.

At this stage, it appears PPC will offer a tailor-made tariff proposal to Aluminium of Greece that will be linked to London Metal Exchange (LME) prices for aluminium. Lower and upper limits are expected to be included in the offer.

Any new tariff agreements with Larco and Aluminium of Greece will need to be approved by PPC’s shareholders, meaning another extraordinary shareholders meeting will be required, top-ranked PPC officials noted. Such a development would end two of the longest-running pricing ordeals between PPC and the heavy industry.