Compromise deal for PPC units sale demand in progress

A Greek delegation handling negotiations for bailout-related energy sector measures and the country’s lenders appear to be moving towards a compromise deal on a demand by the latter for the sale of main power utility PPC units.

Spearheaded by energy minister Giorgos Stathakis, the Greek team appears to have accepted the inclusion of PPC units as part of the overall package of measures needed to conclude the bailout’s prolonged second review.

In response, the lenders seem to be easing up on earlier pressure for a sell-off representing 40 percent of PPC’s lignite-fired and hydropower station capacity. This proportion may now be lowered.

Though finalized agreements were not reached, sources noted that considerable progress is being made at the talks, in Brussels.

Latest developments suggest that the Greek team is striving to keep the utility’s hydropower stations out of the formula for an agreement but the lenders consider their inclusion essential. The Greek team is also seeking to limit the lignite-fired PPC units to be included in the sale package to older units with less operating time remaining, meaning ones set for withdrawal by 2020, such as the utility’s Amynteo unit in northern Greece.  The lenders want more modern facilities, such as the Meliti unit, also in the country’s north, to also be included in the sale package.

The redirected focus of the talks, now seeking a solution on the content of PPC units to be included in the sale package, represents a significant step ahead for the negotiations.

According to energypress sources, the lenders have reiterated a demand for the provision of detailed information on each of the PPC units. The Greek team has pledged it will deliver. The continuation of the talks will be subject to the Greek team’s response to this request. The information is expected to be used to prepare the list of PPC units that will be put up for sale.

A formula is still being sought to ensure that any agreement reached bypasses Greek Parliament and avoids the need for legislation. The Greek coalition holds a slim majority in the house.