Buyers presented PPC sale’s make-or-break SPA terms

Prospective buyers of main power utility PPC lignite units on offer through a bailout-required disinvestment will be presented a finalized sale and purchase agreement’s (SPA) terms today, seen as a make-or-break step in this sale procedure.

The appraisal by investors of the SPA, featuring four new bonuses as incentives, will determine their level of interest in the sale of power stations and mines representing 40 percent of PPC’s overall lignite capacity, as well as the level of  binding bids they will be prepared to submit on January 7. Officials plan to complete the procedure on January 15.

The SPA includes the elimination of a lignite surcharge, already implemented and factored into calculations by investors.

It also includes a new term, submitted to parliament yesterday as part of a wider package of energy sector adjustments, enabling new owners to reduce personnel at units acquired. Any staff members not needed at these units will be transferred to DEDDIE/HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, according to the SPA. All prospective buyers had demanded this labor flexibility term. It is estimated between 300 and 400 employees, the majority from the Megalopoli power station, could end up being transferred.

A third bonus in the SPA entails CAT remuneration eligibility for PPC’s lignite-fired power stations up for sale for a period of at least six years, until 2025, as was announced yesterday by the European Commission.

The fourth incentive ensures investors a steady lignite supply price by PPC for the package’s Meliti power station until a dispute concerning the nearby lignite mines in Florina is resolved.

The energy ministry and PPC believe these four bonus terms will offset operating losses believed to be incurred by the power stations for sale, as was determined by investors.

All possible buyers have continued to remain cagey on their intentions, despite the announcement of the sale’s bonus terms.