PPC scrutinizing Ptolemaida V power station prospects

Power utility PPC’s new leadership has requested a study examining all data and the potential of its prospective Ptolemaida V power station from consulting firm McKinsey, already commissioned with a wider task of preparing the utility’s new strategic development plan.

The previous PPC administration had ruled out abandoning the Ptolemaida V project or a fuel switch from lignite to natural gas. Though these scenarios will be scrutinized in McKinsey’s study, well-informed sources, in comments to energypress, noted both prospects are highly unlikely.

PPC has already spent between 900 and 950 million euros, needing a further sum of approximately 400 million euros, while turbines and generators have already been ordered and received, sources pointed out.

Also, a fuel switch for Ptolemaida V at this stage would be like developing a natural gas-fired facility from scratch, the only savings being certain building and land costs, estimated to be worth a maximum amount of 50 million euros, the sources added.

Even so, PPC’s chief executive Giorgos Stassis will refuse to consider the Ptolemaida V project a certainty unless the financial impact of various factors – including non-eligibility for CAT remuneration and higher CO2 emission right costs – has been thoroughly examined.

“We don’t know what the preferred choice will be, but must examine all scenarios without any taboos,” a highly ranked PPC official told energypress.

PPC took a decision to develop Ptolemaida V back in 2010 for a variety of reasons, including national energy security and continued lignite activity in Greece’s west Macedonia region.