Ministry, discussing PPC lignite sale SPA terms, to seek deadline extension

Energy ministry sources are cautiously optimistic negotiations with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition on sale and purchase agreement terms to be signed by the main power utility PPC and potential buyers of its lignite units offered as a bailout-required disinvestment will soon be finalized, possibly within the current week.

The sources added the SPA terms to be established will help make the units sustainable, attractive prospects for buyers.

Barring unexpected developments, the SPA terms should be ready to be approved at a PPC board meeting on December 20.

Greece is expected to request a new deadline extension for an international tender concerning PPC’s disinvestment of lignite units beyond the current December 21 date. However, the additional time to be requested will be less than the period sought by PPC, energy ministry officials informed.

Completion of the tender between January 15 and 21 is feasible, the ministry officials noted. This would require interested parties to submit binding offers in early January followed by the declaration of a preferred bidder several days later.

The European Commission has rejected the inclusion of a Greek SPA term proposal entailing a 50-50 share of profits or losses by PPC and buyers of lignite units for a two-year period, up to a 10 percent limit of a bid’s value. Brussels also disagrees with a Greek proposal calling for PPC’s entitlement to a 30 percent share of remuneration to be received through the CAT mechanism.