PPC’s Kardia power station set for closure, minister to tell

The main power utility PPC’s 1,250-MW capacity power station in Kardia, northern Greece, launched back in the 80s, is headed for closure, beginning in November with the withdrawal of two units, followed by the closure of the facility’s remaining two units next April or May, as the energy ministry has decided not to pursue an operating extension permit from the European Commission for the four units.

The remaining operating hours granted by Brussels, following lignite limit related exemptions, for all four Kardia units will expire during the aforementioned periods.

Energy minister Giorgos Stathakis has summoned Syriza party MPs holding seats in Greece’s west Macedonia region, representatives of the PPC union Genop, as well as regional authority Thodoros Karypidis to a meeting tomorrow, during which the decision will be officially announced and discussed.

The development marks the beginning of a clean-energy policy for Greece.

A definite plan on the futures of 400 employees at Kardia I, II, III and IV as well as approximately 800 workers stationed at associated mines has yet to be announced. However, at this preliminary stage of the upcoming closure, it appears Kardia power station employees will be transferred to other units with vacancies, while some of the miners will remain at their posts for coal supply to other power stations.

A voluntary retirement plan by PPC for Kardia station and mine workers approaching retirement age cannot be ruled out. This plan could also be offered at other utility units.

PPC intends to seek an operating extension for its Amynteo power station, also in the country’s north, through an environmental upgrade included in an investment plan. A plan for a possible partnership with a private-sector investor is also being considered.