Privatization fund advises PPC to reexamine investment plan

The country’s new super privatization fund has advised the main power utility PPC to reexamine its investment plan and transform into a modern multi-faceted energy company that will enter the natural gas market, offer wide-ranged energy services and improve its handling of unpaid receivables, estimated at between 2.3 and 2.7 billion euros, in an effort to overcome numerous challenges ahead.

In its report, the privatization fund does not rule out the possibility of reduced operating profit levels between 2018 and 2020 as a result of the power utility’s elevated unpaid receivables, bailout-required electricity market share reductions to levels of less than 50 percent by 2020, obligation to disinvest its lignite capacity and limited liquidity.

The fund makes extensive reference to PPC’s needto adapt amid a changing environment shaped by the imminent energy mix change, on a European level, as a result of the EU’s policy shift favoring the renewable energy sector and the transformation of the wholesale market in accordance with the target model plan, aiming to harmonize EU wholesale markets.

In the privatization fund’s report, PPC has also been advised to seek alternative financing solutions for 1.3 billion euros worth of loans maturing in 2019 and to proceed with environmental upgrades of old lignite-fired power plans, such as the Amynteo facility in the country’s north.

The report divides PPC’s needs into six categories. One of these recommends a bolstering of the utility’s financial position. In another category, the report calls for PPC to respond to regulatory demands for the establishment of a sustainable energy model. The completion of the lignite disinvestment plan is included in this section. In the third category, the report stresses the need for new products and services, including a natural gas market entry. A fourth category focuses on the need for pricing policy revisions, the aim being to retain customers servicing their electricity bills. In the fifth category, the privatization fund places emphasis on the need for a more dynamic RES sector presence. The sixth category calls for PPC to achieve economies of scale at all levels.