PPC seeking new revenue sources as market share falls

The main power utility PPC’s head official has said the corporation is seeking alternative ways to generate earnings as compensation for its shrinking retail electricity market share, which has given up slight ground and is expected to decline 50 percent by 2020 as part of the bailout-related energy market reforms.

To counter its dwindling retail market presence, PPC intends to participate in major energy projects already being developed or expected to emerge within the next few years, the utility’s chief executive Manolis Panogiotakis noted during a meeting yesterday with Genop, PPC’s main workers union.

“In 2015, we lost 108 million euros as a result of our reduced retail electricity market share. In 2016, we expect to lose over 250 million euros and need to accept this [new reality],” Panagiotakis noted.

PPC will seek partners to submit a joint bid for the submarine interconnection of Crete with the mainland, a project being planned by the utility’s subsidiary firm IPTO, the power grid operator, currently still under PPC’s control but headed for an imminent breakaway.

The utility also intends to develop renewable energy (RES) projects through licenses held by PPC Renewables, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PPC, beginning with two major wind-energy parks. Geothermal and biomass projects are also on the agenda.

PPC will seek to take on construction of hydropower projects in neighboring Albania by utilizing the knowhow of its personnel as well as the experience of Greek construction firms in this field.

The utility will attempt to take on research and energy project maintenance work in foreign markets, including those of Turkey, Egypt, and Iran.

It plans to make a dynamic entry into the fast-growing electric car market, a sector expected to offer enticing commercial prospects in Greece over the next few years.

“PPC has no choice other than to be a completely different firm in a few years time, but the corporation could become stronger,” Panagiotakis noted, adding that the Greek State will need to allow the utility to operate freely amid the competitive environment.

Panagiotakis wants PPC to no longer be limited by a bailout measure restricting public sector firms to one recruit for every five departures. He also wants PPC to be exempted from a stringent public-sector contracts law, introduced to increase monitoring of public spending, which, he noted, leads to major delays and increased costs as a result of the greater level of bureaucracy.