Investors considering the main power utility PPC’s bailout-required sale of lignite units expect new sale-term improvements beyond certain incentives already offered now that a last-minute decision was taken by authorities earlier this week to extend a January 23 binding bids deadline to February 6.
“There is no point in the deadline extension if further incentives are not offered,” a source at one of the sale’s contender firms told energypress, echoing the thoughts of all possible buyers. The PPC units on offer are not capable of generating profit figures under the sale’s existing terms, the source added.
Contenders have remained adamant on earlier views. The Czech Republic’s Seven Energy, which has teamed up with Gek Terna for this sale, insists on a 50 percent staff cut at two power stations, Megalopoli and Meliti, included in the sale package. Both plants remain loss-incurring, the candidates remind.
A team made up of China’s CHN Energy and the Copelouzos group is demanding a lignite supply cost reduction, especially for the Meliti plant.
The energy ministry is under less pressure to complete state-controlled PPC’s sale effort now that Greece’s bailout program has concluded and the country’s borrowing ability is no longer directly linked with the bailout terms.
At worst, energy ministry officials believe, the PPC sale effort will sink and the European Commission will again challenge the power utility’s dominant position in Greece’s lignite market, seen as a slow bureaucratic procedure.