Market players, expecting sale of PPC units, planning ahead

The local electricity market’s players, considering the prospective bailout-related sale of main power utility PPC production units a certainty, are preparing plans in anticipation of such a development.

Despite the government’s stubborn stance in the ongoing and prolonged effort to conclude the bailout’s second review, all sides appear to have recognized, to lesser and greater extents, the inevitability of these PPC sales.

Highlighting PPC’s hesitance and resistance to prospective production unit sales, the utility’s chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis recently contended that the country’s independent suppliers, currently possessing 150,000 electricity supply connections, are not ready to take on 4.5 million PPC clients, a shift that is needed if the state-controlled utility’s market share reduction is to fall to 50 percent by 2020, as demanded by the bailout.

Energy minister Giorgos Stathakis, in comments published by local media over the weekend, acknowledged, for the first time in public, that if the NOME auctions – imposed by the country’s creditors – or sale of new PPC subsidiaries with PPC clients on board – a utility proposal – fail to reduce the utility’s dominant market share, then a bailout clause would be triggered for the sale of PPC production units.

Market players have stretched their thoughts further ahead and are already focusing their thoughts on the possible sale methods to be adopted for these sales.

At this stage, the government is battling to delay a review of PPC’s market share contraction progress and hopes this check will be shifted from June, as demanded by the creditor representatives, to December.

Currently holding an 88.5 percent share of Greece’s retail electricity market, PPC is expected to have lowered this share to 75.24 percent by the end of this year.