PPC’s deficit haunts of last July may return, support needed

Power utility PPC is in danger of falling back into a potentially devastating financial hole the company was in just over a year ago, in July, 2019, when a financial gap of approximately one billion euros needed to be covered.

Until just weeks ago, the company was moving on with an effort to wipe out this deficit figure, which had reached 957 million euros to be exact, by the end of this year. But it could now worsen as a result of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact.

Access to state guarantees worth hundreds of millions of euros will be needed if such a scenario is to be avoided.

The government has already announced a one billion-euro support package for the sector as a whole, but details remain pending. This delay is intensifying the concerns at PPC.

Electricity bill collections are expected to fall by levels of between 25 and 30 percent as a result of the coronavirus lockdown, PPC and market officials have projected.

Such a reduction over a three-month period – assuming the lockdown lasts this long – would collectively deprive Greece’s electricity suppliers of revenue worth approximately 650 million euros.

As the market leader with a retail electricity market share of 70 percent, the cost for PPC would be between 350 and 400 million euros.

Last July, PPC took a number of measures worth a total of 490 million euros for some cash flow relief, including increased tariffs.