Ministry promoting local government involvement in PPC units to be sold

The energy ministry is working on a plan to encourage the involvement of local governments in prospective consortiums that may vie for the acquisition of carbon-fired power stations currently owned by the main power utility PPC.

PPC needs to sell carbon-fired units to meet a European Court decision as well as Greek bailout terms.

Just days ago, the ministry announced it is preparing a related bill to be submitted to parliament as soon as possible. The bill’s ratification would permit the existence of energy cooperatives and enable local governments to become involved in prospective purchases of PPC carbon-fired units.

However, it remains unclear as to how local governments could finance such investments. According to sources, one of several energy ministry proposals already being contemplated entails enabling local governments to use existing development funds offered for the development of energy projects in energy-generating regions.

The west Macedonia prefecture in Greece’s north, for example, receives between 20 million and 25 million euros, annually, while the Florina and Arcadia regions absorb annual amounts of about 4 million to 5 million euros each.

Local authorities serving the country’s west Macedonia region reiterated their opposition to PPC’s prospective loss of carbon-fired power stations and mines in the region during a recent visit by energy minister Giorgos Stathakis. Responding to the concerns, the minister advised municipal authorities to buy the PPC units for their municipalities. He has also echoed such thoughts in parliament.

Legislative procedures aside, the level of actual investment interest that could be expressed by any consortiums that may be formed with the aim of acquiring PPC carbon-fired units and mines remains to be seen.