New PPC boss announcement imminent, market waiting

The announcement of power utility PPC’s new chief executive, which could be made today, will signal the completion of a first wave of action taken towards rescuing the utility from further trouble.

Over the weekend, the newly appointed energy minister Costis Hatzidakis told local media PPC’s new boss has been selected, and also endorsed by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Standard procedures by the privatization fund, controlling the Greek State’s 51 percent stake of PPC, are pending.

Hatzidakis described the still-unnamed new PPC chief executive – to succeed Manolis Panagiotakis, who submitted his resignation shortly after the conservative New Democracy party won the July 7 legislative election – as an experienced manager who fits the technical demands of the position.

A brave restructuring plan will need to be implemented at PPC, a loss-incurring corporation threatening the country’s energy system.

Investors are eagerly awaiting the announcement of PPC’s new boss. Their endorsement of the new chief executive’s ability to rescue the power utility would prompt a rebound of the corporation’s battered company share to more realistic levels. The company share has risen sharply in recent days but remains well under older levels.

In other weekend comments, Hatzidakis stressed Greece needs to gradually move on towards a post-lignite era.

PPC’s old lignite-fired power stations are responsible for the bulk of the corporation’s operating losses as a result of sharply increased CO2 emission right costs, which have escalated to levels of nearly 30 euros per ton, no longer feasible.