Investment opportunities to be discussed in Abu Dhabi, Tokyo

Deputy energy minister Gerassimos Thomas will be looking to discuss opportunities in Greece’s energy market during foreign trips this month, beginning with Abu Dhabi and followed by Tokyo.

The deputy minister is scheduled to attend an IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) annual conference this weekend in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

A prominent event on the global RES agenda, the IRENA conference will give the Greek official an opportunity to meet with investors as well as European and American authorities.

Meetings have already been lined up with Estonian politician Kadri Simson, the European Commissioner for Energy, as well as Francis Fanon, the US Assistant Secretary of State and head of the country’s energy portfolio.

US interest in Greek privatizations, gas exports, as well as renewable energy projects is at a high, as was made clear to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during meetings in Washington this week.

Fanon has made regular trips to Athens over the past few months for meetings with government officials as well as officials at Greek and US companies, the focus being on the Greek energy market and its investment opportunities.

The IRENA conference comes not long after a Greek government decision placing emphasis on green energy.

Following the Abu Dhabi trip, the Greek energy deputy will be in Tokyo on January 25, joined by the Deputy Minister for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Frangogiannis and the Deputy Minister for Development and Investments Yiannis Tsakiris.

The Tokyo agenda includes meetings with officials at Mitsubishi, Hitachi and the Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC). This bank, globally active with a focus on green energy investments, has shown strong interest in Greek projects.

During a visit to Athens last September, JBIC officials requested, from the Greek government, a list of projects deemed mature for financing.

Digitization projects at electricity distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO, development of major-scale wind energy arms, installation of smart meters, as well as auto recharging stations are among the projects included on this list, according to sources.

JBIC’s foreign investment loans portfolio is worth 148.8 billion dollars, 17.2 percent of these projects being in Europe.

 

 

 

Foreign funds find appeal in PPC’s green energy plans

Power utility PPC’s strategic decision to decarbonize and make a dynamic entry into the renewable energy sector is the prospect that interests foreign fund managers most about the utility, judging by the overall response at a series of meetings between PPC chief executive Giorgos Stassis and fund managers in London over the past couple of days.

The PPC boss held meetings with over 30 fund managers as part of a roadshow at the London Stock Exchange.

PPC’s plans to restructure, boost cash flow and sell a majority stake of distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO were also embraced by fund managers representing foreign funds such as Ambrosia Capital, Pictet Asset Management, One Investments, STJ and Schroders. But, without a doubt, the power utility’s plans for a greener future drew the greatest amount of interest.

For years now, green energy investors have found it difficult to fathom why Greece, a country blessed with abundant sunlight and exceptional wind energy potential, is not at the forefront of renewable energy developments, but, instead, missing RES targets.

PPC needs to take the initiative and develop major green investments, otherwise Greece will not establish itself as a key market player in this domain, the fund managers commonly believed.

Many foreign fund managers questioned how PPC would accumulate the capital needed to move ahead with its green plans given the fact that, until recently, it was in frantic search of between 900 and 950 million euros to avoid an unfavorable  rating in an imminent report, due September 24, by certified auditor Ernst & Young.

PPC hopes a new business plan being prepared by McKinsey will convince investors and quell these fears.