PPC eyes foreign markets, local firms keen on partnerships

Although a recent leak of details added to Greece’s third bailout deal, as conditions for the completion of the first review, made no mention of main power utility PPC’s prospective partnerships with private-sector firms, the issue has once again drawn attention following this week’s interest expressed by Evangelos Mytilineos, chief executive officer of the Mytilineos corporate group.

A wider interest by all players active in the Greek electricity market, for partnerships with PPC, should be expected. To date, Mytilineos and Elpedison have both declared an interest.

The wider level of interest anticipated will require that an appropriate process, to ensure approval from Brussels, especially on regulations concerning competition, is set out. The Greek electricity market is considered a closed market.

PPC, which contributed to the Greek proposal for partnerships, as a replacement for a previous PPC part-privatization plan that had been legislated, has approached the alternative as an opportunity for the utility to achieve its long-standing objective for international presence. PPC’s chief executive, Manolis Panagiotakis, in various comments, has made clear that the utility will seek to offset its bailout-required market share loss in Greece with an increased presence abroad. Developments, even surprises, on this front should soon be expected, according to certain sources.

Other sources closely following developments, both locally and at a European Commission level, said that Brussels will certainly endorse the PPC partnerships plan if it is pursued in an appropriate fashion, thereby suggesting that open, transparent, and fair terms will need to be offered to all interested parties.

If the finalized version of conditions needed to complete the bailout’s first review does not make any references to PPC’s partnerships, this will mean that the plan concerning PPC and the local electricity market’s liberalization remains open and fluid.