Privatization plan to offer 17% stake of PPC remains on hold

Greece’s long-term plan to privatize 17 percent of the main power utility PPC appears to have been placed on hold and is likely to develop into an issue that will need to be dealt with by the country’s next administration following the national elections, due later this year.

The power utility’s ongoing effort to complete a bailout-required disinvestment of lignite units needs to be completed before any talk on the sale of PPC’s 17 percent can commence, the TAIPED privatization fund’s director Aris Xenofos told the Athens Energy Forum yesterday in response to a question on the matter.

Certain pundits believe maintaining PPC’s 17 percent on the country’s privatizations list serves as a form of pressure keeping the government committed to the current sale of PPC lignite units, including the Megalopoli and Meliti power stations.

Other pundits contend it is just a matter of time before the sale of PPC’s 17 percent stake is taken a step closer to execution by being transferred to the recently formed super privatization fund, of which TAIPED is a subsidiary. A 34 percent stake of PPC belonging to the Greek State has already been transferred to the super privatization fund.

The government has remained adamant on holding on to a 51 percent stake of PPC for the Greek State as a means of offsetting any negative reactions concerning its acceptance of the power utility’s bailout-linked disinvestment of lignite units.

Given the unclear picture of PPC’s future standing, it would most probably prove difficult to attract investors if the power utility’s 17 percent were to be placed for sale right now.