PPC chief offers wide-ranging critical comments with utility results

Main power utility PPC’s chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis has delivered critical comments on a range of issues to accompany the utility’s first-quarter results, reported today.

The PPC boss warned that the reduction of lignite-fired electricity production is a negative development.

Panagiotakis called for the elimination of a special consumption tax (EFK) imposed on coal, which amounts to two euros for every MWh of electricity produced. The PPC chief made the appeal in response to the government’s recent decision to lift the special consumption tax imposed on natural gas purchased and used by natural gas-fueled power stations.

He described a transitional CAT plan as unfair and payments of 45,000 euros per MW for electricity producers as excessive. Panagiotakis urged RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, and the government to “finally” implement the permanent CAT plan as soon as possible.

While presenting data on PPC’s alarming level of unpaid receivables, Panagiotakis pointed at the Greek public sector, whch he noted owes the utility 100 million euros worth of overdue and unpaid electricity bills.

Panagiotakis offered positive words on the government’s decision to soften payback terms offered to consumers for arrears owed to PPC in an effort to improve collections.

PPC reported a 136 million-euro decline in total turnover, down by 8.8 percent, to 1.4 billion euros from 1.55 billion euros in the equivalent period last year.

The utility’s profit after tax increased to 85.6 million euros in the first quarter from 55.7 million euros in the first quarter last year.