Draft bill loosening PPC ties to state expected this week

A draft bill to revise power utility PPC’s operating terms by loosening bailout-related public sector restrictions on the state-controlled utility is expected to be delivered this week.

The draft bill will also facilitate a transfer of fixed assets to distribution network operator DEDDIE, a PPC subsidiary, ahead of a partial sale of the operator.

Final touches are now being added to the draft bill, almost ready, according to sources.

Both the government and PPC officials have stressed the power utility is currently disadvantaged in many circumstances, including at RES auctions, where participating rivals are operating more efficiently amid private-sector market terms.

Under current conditions, which include monitoring of PPC’s procurement procedures,  rival bidders participating at RES auctions end up knowing in advance the level of the power utility’s offers.

PPC’s new administration also wants a relaxation of its existing hiring and remuneration policies, limited by bailout terms imposed on public sector enterprises. PPC is looking for greater freedom to lure high-profile executives from the marketplace.

Revisions concerning gas utility DEPA’s privatization, to offer investors stakes in two new divisions, DEPA Trade and DEPA Infrastructure, as had been planned by the previous government, will also be incorporated into the draft bill.

However, unlike the previous plan, the revisions are expected to offer investors majority stakes in both DEPA entities. The gas utility’s international projects are seen remaining under the control of the Greek State.