DG Comp calls for PPC sale package revisions, additions

Directorate-General for Competition authorities, at a meeting in Brussels with a team of Greek officials yesterday, called for substantial revisions to a Greek bailout-required sale package of main power utility PPC lignite units, doubting the offer’s potential to pass next month’s market test, held to check the level of investor interest. The DG Comp officials also questioned whether the Greek package covers 40 percent of the PPC’s lignite capacity, as is demanded in the revised bailout.

This boils down to meaning that additions will most likely need to be made to the PPC sale package proposal, which currently includes two ageing units an Amynteo, the modern Meliti I facility in the Florina area, northern Greece, and a construction permit for Meliti II.

According to certain sources, the DG Comp officials asked for the Meliti II license to be replaced by an existing unit, such as Megalopoli.

Yesterday’s session was primarily held to confirm and make note of differences  dividing the two sides. Talks are expected to continue over the next few days. The DG Comp officials are expected to keep pressing the Greek team, fighting to keep hydropower units off the PPC sale list.

At this stage, it appears that the Greek government will need to either include two existing Megalopoli lignite-fired units, offering a combined capacity of 511 MW and a lifespan – without any revamps – until 2025, or, as a more dreaded option, the Agios Dimitrios power station, comprised of five units whose capacity totals 1,456 MW.

Yesterday’s meeting highlighted that plenty of work still lies ahead before a finalized agreement on the PPC sale package is established. As a result, the market test, scheduled for October, could be delayed.