Minister moving to retable Amynteo for PPC sale inclusion

Energy minister Giorgos Stathakis is believed to be preparing to retable the prospect of including the main power utility PPC’s two Amynteo units into the utility’s bailout-required sale package of lignite units despite recent reports claiming Greek officials and the country’s lenders had agreed to swap Amynteo for Megalopoli.

Set to add a new chapter to the PPC unit sale ordeal, Stathakis aims to make the most of the time available until October 23, when the lender representatives return to Athens, for a final effort to keep the more modern Megalopoli facility off the sale list.

Based on its current technology, the Amynteo facility will need to cease operating in two years’ time as a result of environmental factors. An upgrade would be needed if this facility’s lifespan is to be prolonged.

A number of factors are believed to have led Greece’s energy minister to have second thoughts and keep pushing for Amynteo’s inclusion as part of PPC’s unit sale package. These include a concern that the sale of Megalopoli would provide investors with a facility lifespan advantage, at least until PPC’s Ptolemaida 5 unit, now being developed, begins operating. Also, if the Megalopoli facility is sold, then this could spread PPC-related political unrest to the Peloponnese following tension experienced in the country’s north, fuelled by the plan to sell regional utility units, including Amynteo.

Stathakis, the energy minister, intends to forward a letter to Brussels within the next few days, explaining his latest thoughts on the effort to keep Amynteo, rather than include Megalopoli, on the PPC sale list.

The minister’s line of thinking is expected to offer support to a costly PPC upgrade plan concerning units the power utility will keep by arguing that buyers should also need to invest in upgrades for units purchased through the sale.