PPC union commences strike action, five power stations closed

Genop, the main power utility PPC union, commenced its planned series of 48-hour strikes late last night by interrupting operations at a total of five units to protest the power utility’s bailout-required sale of lignite units, representing 40 percent of the corporation’s lignite capacity.

Giorgos Adamidis, the union boss, who last night visited the Agios Dimitrios power facility in the country’s north, stressed to workers the significance and objectives of Genop’s strike action.

He promised the union does not intend to create electricity supply problems around the country as a result of the strikes.

The Genop chief noted that the installed capacity of the country’s grid, totalling 17,000 MW, is well over current demand levels of between 5,500 and 6,500 MW, during peak hours.

Also last night, PPC union officials took positions outside the gates of the corporation’s Kardia and Amynteo power stations to inform night-shift workers of the strike’s details and objectives.

Operations were stopped at three facilities in west Macedonia, the heart of Greece’s lignite territory. Agios Dimitrios I and II as well as Kardia II were shut down. A last-minute decision was made to keep Amynteo connected to the grid.

According to the union chief, a lignite-fired unit in Megalopoli and a natural gas-fueled staton in Lavrio, both part of the grid’s southern section, were also shut down.

“We are asking for the [PPC lignite sale plan’s] draft bill to be withdrawn from parliament which, as has been proven, will be a disaster for the [local economies] in western Macedonia and Megalopoli,” Adamidis, the Genop union boss, underlined.

The dangers for the region of the sale of PPC’s most competitive lignite units to the private sector will be explained by the union to MPs at a parliamentary production and trade committee today, the Genop boss noted.