PPC working on withdrawal plan for lignite power stations

Power utility PPC’s newly appointed administration is preparing to commission a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) to determine the order of lignite-fired power station withdrawals, as well as a follow-up plan for workers stationed at these facilities and related telethermal issues.

The withdrawal of old lignite-fired power stations represents a key part of the wider restructuring plan at PPC, under financial pressure and in need of a reshape.

The CBA is part of a new business plan being prepared by PPC for presentation around the end of the year.

Polluting levels of lignite-fired power stations will be a key factor in the order of withdrawals. State-controlled PPC’s Amynteo and Kardia units, operating virtually illegally following dubious extensions granted by the previous government’s energy ministry, are expected to be placed at the top of the withdrawal list.

The withdrawal of lignite units promises to represent a key bargaining tool in the energy ministry’s forthcoming negotiations in Athens with European Commission officials on electricity market reforms and the market position of PPC, still the dominant retail player on the strength of distorted terms not taking into account actual market conditions. These talks are expected to commence September 16.

The closure of older power stations could represent a last chance for PPC to keep alive its hopes of developing Ptolemaida V, a lignite-fired power station investment budgeted at 1.4 billion euros.

Talks between Greek officials and the European Commission aimed at boosting the country’s impetus towards a post-lignite era are already underway, sources informed.