PWC industrial tariffs plan for PPC echoes minister’s rejected proposal

A PWC consulting firm study requested by the country’s privatization fund on main power utility PPC industrial tariffs proposes a two-year extension of a volume-based and punctuality discount, while the prospect of a 10 percent industrial tariff increase remains possible.

This plan echoes a similar-minded proposal presented by the alternate minister of economy and development Stergios Pitsiorlas last November, which was rejected by industrial consumers. Subsequently, it remains unclear if industrial consumers will accept the new PWC-shaped proposal.

Less than a fortnight ago, PPC’s chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis suggested a 10 percent tariff increase would be accompanied by a “small gift”, without elaborating further.

These matters will be presented for approval at a PPC shareholders’ meeting expected to take place late in February.

The terms of a new electricity agreement reached between the troubled state-controlled nickel producer Larco, owing PPC over 300 million euros, and the power utility, also state-controlled, will also be presented for approval at this meeting. Industrial producers will be watching closely.

Larco has accepted a production cutback of approximately 20 percent as a means of lowering its monthly electricity costs. According to sources, Larco has been offered an 18 percent volume-based discount and , as was the case in the past, no discount for punctuality of electricity bill payments. The two sides are expected to sign their agreement by no later than January 31.

In the lead-up to the PPC shareholders’ meeting, the PPC board will need to summon high-voltage industrial electricity consumers to negotiations, during which the power utility will present specific proposals based on the PWC study.