Swift ratification of PPC lignite units bill sought by ministry

The energy ministry intends to submit to parliament for ratification its draft bill for the main power utility PPC’s bailout-required disinvestment of lignite units as soon as possible, or immediately following a go-ahead signal from the central lawmakers committee.

The draft bill is expected to be ratified by the end of this month so as to prevent the PPC sale package from becoming an issue for the government in its upcoming bailout review talks with the country’s lenders.

An international tender for the sale of PPC lignite units is expected to be announced within the month of May, the aim being to complete the procedure by mid-October.

As has been previously reported, the draft bill covers labor matters for employees to remain at PPC, as well as excess staff at units, and also describes the lignite units split process from the power utility.

According to the energy ministry, two new subsidiaries will be formed, one taking on board lignite units for sale in the country’s north, the other lignite units to be sold in the south.

Also, all units to be sold will have received all required operation permits by the end of the year.

A certified international evaluator will prepare a fair value range for the sale price of lignite units. If price levels are lower than expected, PPC will maintain the right to seek improved final prices.

According to the ministry, the new owners of lignite units to be sold will not be able to dismiss employees for 6 years, once units have been transferred, and all required personnel will be transferred to the lignite power stations and units up for sale to ensure the facilities may continue operating as normal. Also, any staff deemed to be redundant will be transferred to other PPC subsidiaries or will benefit from a voluntary retirement plan.