Megalopoli framed as PPC sale addition amid rising pressure

The main power utility PPC’s Megalopoli lignite-fired facility is being framed, by the country’s lenders, as a needed addition to the utility’s bailout-required sale package of lignite units in ongoing negotiations between Greek officials and Directorate-General for Competition authorities over the sale’s content.

The lenders believe that the current PPC package fails to meet the bailout’s terms, alleging it represents less than 40 percent of the utility’s lignite capacity.

The Brussels authorities are also believed to be gearing up to apply increased pressure for the inclusion of PPC hydropower units to the list, a dreaded thought for the Greek government.

At this stage, the Greek negotiating team is maneuvering to distance such a prospect from the negotiating process as well as any talk concerning the inclusion of PPC’s Agios Dimitrios lignite facility to the sale package.

The DG Comp officials, awaiting the findings of a related report that could prove pivotal, are adamant in their belief that Greece’s electricity market cannot open up to full competition and draw investor interest without the inclusion of hydropower units to PPC’s sale package. The Brussels officials have cited the subdued, if not non-existent, interest of European investors in PPC’s lignite-only package to back this claim.

On the contrary, the Greek team insists that the lignite-only sale list already agreed to with lenders stands as the only discussable option.

Other PPC sale list weaknesses spotted by the lenders include the limited lifespan of Amynteo, one of the lignite facilities included in the package, as well as supply problems encountered by the Megalopoli unit, another inclusion.