Privatization fund’s binding strategic plan for PPC ready

The new privatization superfund’s strategic plan for the main power utility PPC will enforce a number of measures, including stricter cost control and a more effective electricity bills collection policy, as part of an effort to improve the power utility’s profitability and overall efficiency. The fund now controls a 34 percent stake of PPC.

Officials representing the new privatization superfund, which has taken its precursor TAIPED under its wings as a subsidiary, are expected to meet with PPC’s leadership within the next few weeks and present their strategic plan for the power utility. A date for this meeting has yet to be set.

PPC will need to adapt its business plan in accordance with the requirements set in the fund’s strategic plan. However, acknowledging the immense pressure PPC is now under to meet bailout-required measures, the fund is not expected to push for immediate implementation of its strategic plan. PPC is moving to sell lignite units and must also reduce its dominant market share by offering rival suppliers lower-cost electricity through NOME auctions.

Also, PPC, along with two other utilities now transferred to the fund – EYDAP, the Athens water utility, and EYATH, the Thessaloniki water utility – are all listed firms, meaning the presence of minority shareholders from the private sector will somewhat limit the extent of changes that can be made.

Even so, regardless of the aforementioned factors seen restraining the fund in its handling of PPC for a while, old and ineffective ways practiced at the power utility will definitely be ended. The payroll, for example, infamously burdened by issues such as excessive overtime pay, will be subject to particular scrutiny.

The new superfund’s chief official, Ourania Ekaterinari, is very familiar with PPC’s strengths and weaknesses as she had served as the utility’s deputy chief between 2010 and 2015.

The boards of all utilities, whether listed or not, including PPC’s leadership, will also be evaluated from scratch. Any members believed to be underperforming will be replaced. The term of PPC chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis is set to expire in less than three months, on April 7.