PPC union aims to intensify resistance against lignite sale

Genop, the main power utility PPC union, appears determined to derail the corporation’s bailout-required sale of lignite units, warning that yesterday’s occupation of PPC’s headquarters, which prevented the board from meeting to launch the lignite disinvestment procedure and endorse the hirings of consulting firms already selected, was just a prelude of action to come.

The union aims to delay, as much as possible, the announcement of the sale’s international tender, scheduled for May 31, and, generally, intimidate the PPC board by forcing it to work on the effort through teleconferences.

A series of steps and meetings are needed, as has just been detailed in a road map of the sale, including a board meeting on May 23, whose agenda includes endorsing terms concerning the split, from PPC, of lignite units to be sold, and also officially inviting investors to express interest.

Genop is also expected to intervene at a PPC shareholders’ meeting on June 26, when the overall sale plan is scheduled to be approved.

The union action may delay the sale’s developments but the procedure cannot be stopped. However, the announcement of the international tender in June or July, for example, rather than May 31, as is scheduled, would represent a setback.

PPC’s boss CEO Manolis Panagiotakis appears determined to complete the sale procedure as soon as possible but prospective investors do not seem prepared to offer major amounts for lignite units, fearing their business prospects are not good amid the current conditions shaped by the EU’s environmental policies.

Genop insists it will do all that it can to delay the sale. If the union succeeds and PPC misses its lignite unit sale deadlines, then hydropower facilities could consequently be brought into the sale picture, a dreaded throught for both the government and state-controlled PPC.