SGCC, buyer of IPTO’s 24%, nurturing wider ambitions

China’s SGCC, the winning bidder of a recent international tender offering a 24 percent stake of Greek power grid operator IPTO, a main power utility PPC subsidiary, has adopted a strategic decision to reinforce, in all ways possible, its position in Europe’s electricity market developments, officials at PPC, IPTO and RAE, the local Regulatory Authority for Energy, have understood in a series of meetings held with Chinese officials, currently in Athens to sign a deal today for the IPTO sale.

The Chinese electric utility company, a global giant, sees major prospects in the European market. Its 24 percent acquisition of IPTO is seen as a stepping stone for more ambitious moves to be taken around the continent.

According to energypress sources, SGCC officials have made clear, during this visit to Athens, the coorporation’s intentions to participate in electricity network reinforcement projects in the Balkans and southeast Europe, as well as even bigger projects, such as the Africa-Europe interconnection, which they anticipate will be developed within the next few years. IPTO could play a role, even if only small, in these projects, the SGCC officials noted.

Returning to domestic energy matters, the Chinese officials believe that the country’s planned interconnection projects, such as the mainland’s link with Crete, will be developed “easily” and “swiftly”.

This may seem a little overambitious for local pundits but the scale of SGCC should not be overlooked. The corporation provides energy services to an estimated 1.5 billion consumers, has installed roughly 320 million digital power meters and is backed by a particularly advanced R&D division.