Package deal sought for PPC unit sales, client shifts, NOME

The Greek government appears to be seeking a package deal with the country’s lenders that, besides the sale of main power utility PPC lignite units, will also include the sale of PPC portions with utility customers on board to rival suppliers – based on an older PPC proposal – reassessment of the NOME auctions, and, finally, life extensions of older utility units rejected from the unit sale list.

A finalized Greek proposal is expected to be forwarded to the lenders on Thursday or Friday. If accepted, a team of energy ministry officials will travel to Brussels at the end of the week or early next week to sign a finalized agreement. A market test measuring the unit sale list’s level of investor interest will need to be staged within the last ten days of November.

According to sources, the PPC sale list will include Meliti I (330 MW), a licence to develop Meliti II (450 MW), and two Megalopoli units (600 MW).

The package will also include a request for lifespan extensions of two ageing PPC units, Kardia (1,200 MW) and Amynteo (600 MW).

Amynteo has been was rejected by the DG Comp from the PPC sale list. The Brussels authority has advised the Greek government to utilize this facility as its sees fit.

The Greek proposal for the split and sale of PPC portions with existing customers on board is intended to accelerate PPC’s market share contraction in the retail electricity market. This Greek request shares similar traits to the “Little PPC” plan brought forth in 2014 but not executed. However, the latest proposal will not include hydropower and natural gas-fired facilities.

Greek officials also want the NOME auction terms to be reassessed should PPC units be sold. This term has been included in the revised bailout. The NOME auctions were introduced in Greece just over a year ago to offer independent suppliers access to PPC’s low-cost lignite and hydropower sources. An objective was set for PPC’s market share to contract to less than 49 percent by the end of 2019.