PPC to pay €400m to thermal, RES producers, court orders

The Council of State, Greece’s supreme administrative court, has ordered the main power utility PPC to provide 400 million euros to LAGIE, the Electricity Market Operator, covering an amount owed to thermal electricity and renewable energy producers as a result of offsetting practices pursued by the utility.

The verdict comes as a major financial setback for PPC, which has struggled to combat poor cashflow in recent years.

The Council of State rejected a PPC request made in 2013 that sought to nullify a decision reached by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, that prohibited PPC from practicing offsetting solutions for amounts owed to LAGIE and, by extension, thermal electricity and RES producers.

RAE had reached that decision following an initiative taken by independent electricity supplier Elpedison in 2013. An examination of the case found that PPC was resorting to offsetting measures, despite not being entitled to do so.

The 400 million-euro sum which PPC must pay LAGIE will then be relayed to thermal electricity and RES producers. These two sub-sectors are more or less entitled to an equal division of the amount.

According to sources, talks have already begun between PPC and LAGIE for payment of the amount through installments and not as a lump sum, which would be virtually impossible considering the power utility’s current finances.