Minister, DG Comp close to deal on new PPC lignite terms

The energy ministry and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition appear to be just days away from  finalizing terms of the main power utility PPC’s new sale of lignite units, to feature improved conditions for investors, following the initial effort’s failure.

A profit-and-loss sharing mechanism, which had been requested by a bidding team comprised of Seven Energy and Gek Terna, will most likely be included in the disinvestment’s revised sales and purchase agreement and given a two-year duration.

It is believed the matter was discussed by energy minister Giorgos Stathakis in a high-level teleconference early yesterday with Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner for Competition, which highlights the energy ministry’s urgency for a finalized PPC sale plan ahead of an imminent Eurogroup meeting of eurozone finance ministers, scheduled for March 11.

A follow-up session between the two officials would have taken place in the evening had the energy minister not rushed off for Crete on an emergency visit following extensive weather-related damages on the island.

PPC’s lignite disinvestment is a pending bailout requirement. It is one of the key commitments if the country’s lenders are to release a one-billion euro tranche for Greece.

The Directorate-General for Competition has yet to present a position on whether the PPC lignite units up for sale will be eligible for CAT remuneration.