IPTO assets to remain with state, beyond energy ministry

The privatization prospect of IPTO, the power grid operator, has been dropped, but an alternative solution will need to be found by December, it has been confirmed following yesterday’s meeting in Athens between Environment and Energy Minister Panos Skourletis and Greece’s creditor representatives.

As energypress had exclusively disclosed early this month, the alternative plan will entail a transferal of IPTO’s fixed assets by parent company PPC, the main power utility, to another state-run company that is not supervised by the energy ministry, but another ministry, such as the finance ministry.

Yesterday’s negotiations on the issue focused on a plan that had been shaped during a previous meeting between energy ministry officials and creditor representative technical teams. It entails the establishment of new company, to be controlled by the state with a stake of at least 51 percent, which will acquire IPTO’s fixed assets.

The plan to place this new company under the supervision of a ministry other than the energy ministry, such as the finance ministry, as a means of ensuring fair treatment for all market players, is commonly adopted in other parts of Europe, where grid operators are not supervised by energy ministries.

If PPC holds a stake in this new company, its equity will consist of prefered shares with rights to dividends but no voting rights at shareholder meetings.