PPC lignite units sale draft bill set for parliament

All the specific steps and time frame needed for fast-track procedures of the main power utility PPC’s bailout-required disinvestment of 40 percent of its lignite units are detailed in a 17-page, nine-article draft bill that has been prepared by the energy ministry and is expected to be submitted to parliament for ratification within the current week.

The draft bill specifies that PPC will need to announce an international tender for the sale of lignite units by May 31, while the procedure must be finalized within six months following its launch.

Also on May 31, PPC’s board is scheduled to meet to endorse the split of the lignite units to be placed for sale.

Prospective investors will be able to submit offers for full acquisitions of at least one of two firms to be formed to carry the lignite units to be placed for sale.

PPC will have the right to appoint an independent valuator, if the European Commission approves, as well as an additional consultant for a fairness opinion report, while a monitoring trustee acting on behalf of the European Commission may also be appointed.

According to the draft bill, existing labor rights at the PPC units to be sold will need to remain unchanged for a period of six years following the sale. All required staff will be transferred to the sale procedure’s new companies to enable power stations and mines to operate normally, while any leftover staff will be transferred to PPC subsidiaries or become eligible for voluntary retirement programs, according to the draft bill.