Power utility PPC’s effort to boost lignite extraction for reinforced reserves, needed as this energy source has returned to the fore, at least temporarily, in the crisis, is helping to bring back into the picture the state-owned Ahlada and Vevi lignite mines, both sidelined, as the interest of private investors in these units has been revitalized.
Major energy and construction groups are expressing renewed interest in these lignite mines, both in northern Greece’s Florina region, sources informed. PPC’s lignite reserves stockpiled at power stations have reached 2.7 million tons but are still considered insufficient.
Lignitoryhia Ahladas SA, the company to which two lignite mines, Ahlada 1 and Ahlada 2, were leased by the Greek State, was declared defunct by the energy ministry in July as a result of its failure to meet agreement terms, primarily lease payments. The Ahlada mines have supplied lignite to PPC’s Meliti power station. Further back, Ahlada was operated by the AKTOR-TERNA partnership.
As for the Vevi mine, the country’s first lignite mine for which an attempt was made to transfer its operations to the private sector, three companies, Mytilineos, TERNA and Aktor, participated in a tender in 2008 before Aktor was eventually named the winning bidder in late 2014.
However, Aktor was not able to pursue the project as concessionaire after the left-wing Syriza party came into power shortly afterwards. The project agreement was never brought to parliament for approval during the Syriza government’s two tenures, from January, 2015 to July, 2019.