New evaluation of PPC lignite units crucial for follow-up sale

Legal framework provisions enabling lower evaluations of lignite units offered in the main power utility PPC’s bailout-required disinvestment will play a crucial role in the success of a follow-up sale just launched after an initial effort failed to produce results.

Much will depend on how state-controlled PPC’s board will decide to use the evaluation-related framework. The utility’s chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis has warned that investors looking to buy for quick profit within a year or two should look elsewhere.

Despite this tough stance, PPC officials know well that a failure of the latest lignite sale effort to produce a result will increase the likelihood of eventual European Commission pressure for the inclusion of hydropower units into the sale package or lead to greater electricity amounts for independent players through NOME auction, offering access to PPC’s lower-priced hydropower and lignite sources.

The energy ministry is well aware of these dangers and appears determined to push ahead with the current lignite-only disinvestment plan for PPC.