PPC’s voluntary exit plan terms still not ready, lignite units sale deadline near

The eligibility terms and conditions for the main power utilty PPC’s voluntary exit plan concerning 1,248 employees at two power stations included in a bailout-required sale of lignite units have yet to be prepared despite being a crucial factor in the disinvestment effort’s outcome.

PPC has announced that employees interested in taking up the voluntary exit offer need to submit applications by January 10 but has yet to offer eligibility details.

This delay is injecting credibility into rumors of a deadline extension for binding bids by prospective buyers of PPC’s lignite units. They face a January 7 deadline.

Prospective buyers want to know the outcome of the voluntary exit plan before they submit binding bids.

Despite the time squeeze, energy ministry officials insist the  disinvestment’s schedule will remain as announced. If so, binding bids will need to be submitted on January 7, improved offers, if required, must be submitted on January 10, and evaluations of offers will be made a day later.

Investors have not been given any other schedule dates for the sale, iit is believed.

A total of 1,017 staff members are employed at PPC’s lignite-fired Megalopoli power station and 231 at Meliti, the two facilities for which the voluntary exit plan applies.

Investors want the combined workforce total of 1,248 at the two units reduced to 600 workers, meaning 120 could remain at Meliti and 480 at Megalopoli. Union groups believe such a drastic staff cut will be difficult to achieve.

The voluntary exit plan, which also applies for employees who have yet to gain pension rights, offers 15,000 euros in severance pay plus a 5,000 euro bonus for every outgoing staff member.