IPTO board changes following new board for IPTO Holding

Two board members at power grid operator IPTO, Giannis Kambouris and Dimosthenes Papastamopoulos, both choices of the previous Syriza government, are resigning, sources have informed.

Kambouris, also the deputy at IPTO Holding, formed following ownership unbundling at IPTO three years ago, resigned from the IPTO board yesterday.

Papastamopoulos, one of the closest associates of the main opposition Syriza party’s Panos Skourletis, who held the country’s energy portfolio, appears set to submit his resignation.

The replacements of Kambouris and Papastamopoulos could be announced tomorrow at an IPTO board meeting.

An entirely new five-member board for IPTO Holding is expected to be announced at an IPTO Holding annual general shareholders’ meeting scheduled for July 16.

The New Democracy government wants to make changes at IPTO and IPTO Holding for further alignment with its policies.

IPTO chief executive Manos Manousakis will definitely remain at his post, sources noted, adding that his deputy, Giannis Margaris, and board member Iasonas Rousopoulos will both probably also carry on for the time being at least.

Energy ministry pushing for swift completion of DEPA privatization

Swift completion of gas utility DEPA’s privatization procedure is a key objective for the energy ministry, whose choice of sale model will be strongly influenced by the time needed for implementation.

Opting to continue with the previous Syriza government’s unfinished DEPA sale procedure, instead of adopting a more recent New Democracy administration proposal that would entail the establishment of a holding company, appears to be the likeliest way to go, energy ministry sources have underlined.

Energy ministry and privatization fund TAIPED officials, along with legal consultant Potamitis Vekris and financial adviser UBS, held a meeting yesterday to discuss the DEPA privatization.

The previous government’s DEPA sale plan, involving a company split designed to offer investors separate stakes in two new entities, DEPA Trade and DEPA infrastructure, appears to be the favored option at this stage, with one big difference, this being to offer majority 65 percent stakes in each of the two new companies.

Under the Syriza version, investors would have been offered a majority 50.1 percent stake of DEPA Trade and 14 percent minority stake of DEPA infrastructure.

The government’s newer and less likely option, entailing the establishment of a holding company as a platform for two to three companies representing DEPA’s trading, network and international activity interests, has not been completely ruled out.

The recently elected government wants the DEPA privatization to be among its first sales. It intends to launch a tender in autumn for completion as soon as possible.

Gov’t intends to sell Greek State’s entire 65% of DEPA

The recently elected conservative New Democracy government appears heavily inclined towards selling the Greek State’s entire 65 percent stake in gas utility DEPA through a procedure that would offer buyers majority stakes in both the utility’s trading and distribution interests.

“Nothing has yet been finalized, but the intentions indicate a sale of the entire 65 percent,” a reliable source told energypress.

Keeping a majority stake for the Greek State in the utility’s networks does not appear to be essential for the new government, as was the case with the preceding Syriza administration, unless a politically minded decision is made along the way.

A legislative amendment is expected to be completed within October before it is submitted to Greek Parliament at the end of that month.

The previous government’s plan entailed splitting DEPA into two new business entities, DEPA Trade and DEPA Infrastructure, and offering investors a 50.1 percent stake of the former followed by a minority 14 percent share of the latter.

A privatization of the Greek State’s entire DEPA stake would represent a repeat of the gas grid operator DESFA sale, in which investors bought the Greek State’s entire 66 percent stake.

Considerable investor interest, local and foreign, is expected, especially in DEPA’s gas supply division.

Speaking just days ago at the Thessaloniki International Fair, Andreas Siamisiis, chief executive of Hellenic Petroleum ELPE, holding a 35 percent stake in DEPA, noted the petroleum group would seek a majority stake of the gas utility. The Mytilineos and Copelouzos groups have also expressed interest in public remarks.

Ratification of hydrocarbon licenses within August

Four offshore hydrocarbon exploration and production licenses signed by three groups of investors for areas off Crete, in the Ionian Sea and west of the Peloponnese are expected to be ratified in Greek Parliament within the next few days, possibly before the end of August, energypress sources have informed.

These licenses are significant for the reputation of the recently elected conservative New Democracy party, keen to underline its willingness to cooperate in the energy sector and draw major investments to the country.

Oil majors are involved. France’s Total heads a consortium that includes US giant ExxonMobil and Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) for the two licenses off Crete, south and southwest of the island.

ELPE has joined forces with Spain’s Repsol for a license in the Ionian Sea, while ELPE is the sole participant in the offshore license west of the Peloponnese.

Greek energy minister Costis Hatzidakis, in talks with US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Francis Fannon earlier this month, pledged the licenses would soon be ratified in parliament.

A swift ratification procedure by the new government would send out a positive message to international investors.

Upcoming endorsement of new DEPA leadership first of 3 steps

The privatization fund TAIPED’s anticipated approval, on August 30, of the new leadership at gas utility DEPA represents the first of three key step leading towards a new era for the company.

Earlier this month, Konstantinos Xifaras, a former managing director at gas grid operator DESFA, was named for the equivalent post at DEPA, while Giannis Papadopoulos, managing director at venture capital firm Attica Ventures, was announced as the gas utility’s new company president.

DEPA shareholders will immediately follow up with an extraordinary meeting to offer their approval of the company’s new two-pronged leadership.

Around the same time, a second key step is planned to be taken in the form of an amendment to be submitted to Parliament for a revision of the previous Syriza government’s DEPA split plan. It had envisioned the establishment of two new corporate entities, DEPA Trade and DEPA Infrastructure, as a prelude to the sale of a 50.1 percent stake in the former and a 14 percent stake in the latter.

The recently elected conservative New Democracy government appears determined to pursue a more aggressive DEPA sale policy that will offer majority stakes in both the utility’s trade and network interests. However, finalized decisions on a new company model, the third key step, have yet to be made.

New PPC boss announcement next test for rebounding share price

Investors are fully backing an imminent restructuring plan for the power utility PPC, as highlighted by the spectacular rise of the company’s share, up 124 percent since an April low and 145 percent from the deepest dive registered in 2018.

PPC’s share, which shed 80 percent of its value over the past five years, has regained 18.5 percent of this loss over the past few days alone, driven by the prospect of a restructuring plan seen as realistic and implementable by investors.

It has been a roller-coaster ride for PPC’s share price over the past few years, a reflection of the contradicting views of upbeat and concerned pundits.

PPC shareholders may have gained 145 percent since the 2018 low but they have also lost 40 percent since the highest price in 2017 peak, 62 percent since the highest level recorded in 2015, and 75 percent since the peak in 2014.

The appointment of PPC’s new chief executive, rumored to be set for an announcement over the next few days, will serve as the next major crash test for the power utility’s share price.

The new boss will succeed Manolis Panagiotakis who submitted his resignation from the state-controlled power utility just days after the July 7 election that brought the conservative New Democracy party into power.

The new PPC boss has already been picked from a limited list of candidates and could be announced by tomorrow, when energy minister Costis Hatzidakis returns from an energy forum in Cairo, sources informed.

PPC’s EBITDA performance has the potential to rise by between 400 and 600 million euros over the next year or two, according to the results of an Axia Research study released yesterday.

Gov’t must decide if budget, consumers will cover PPC public service return

The newly elected conservative New Democracy government will need to decide whether a considerable public service compensation (YKO) return to the power utility PPC for 2011, believed to have been officially set at 195 million euros, will be covered by consumers, through electricity bill surcharges, or the national budget.

Though the PPC administration has questioned the amount set by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, believing it should be greater, it hopes the payment will be made soon, once Parliament resumes full operations, as the cash injection would offer some relief for the power utility’s struggling finances.

PPC previously demanded a sum of between 650 and 700 million euros for 2011.

A RAE letter forwarded to the energy ministry provided a public service compensation estimate of between 160 and 200 million euros for PPC, but, according to sources, the authority has already calculated a precise amount of 195 million euros, which it believes is fair.

A legislative revision is needed before the payment process can proceed as, based on existing law, the case for PPC’s public service compensation claim concerning 2011 is closed, RAE has informed the energy ministry in a letter.

The previous Syriza government did not submit the required amendment to Greek Parliament.

PM decides on secretary general for environment and energy ministry

Prime Minister-elect Kyriakos Mitsotakis has chosen Alexandra Sdoukou, an experienced energy sector authority, as secretary general for the environment and energy ministry, sources have informed.

An official announcement of the appointment is expected to be made within the next few days along with the newly elected New Democracy administration’s choices for the equivalent posts at most of the other ministries.

In recent years, Sdoukou has served as an advisor for Mitsotakis and his close associates on energy matters.

Over the past 15 years, Sdoukou has offered specialized legal consulting services on matters concerning development, energy and the environment at related ministries.

Born in 1978, Sdoukou studied law at the Democritus University of Thrace and followed up with two post-graduate degrees, one in European Commercial Law at the University of Bristol, the other in European Economic Studies at the Athens University of Economics and Business. In 2010, Sdoukou also took a special Public Administration course at Harvard University.

She practiced law for five years after completing internships at the European Parliament and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.


TAIPED awaiting ND position on ELPE, DEPA privatizations

The privatization fund TAIPED is awaiting the newly elected conservative New Democracy government’s strategy on energy sector privatizations so that it can reshape, from scratch, as it appears, the sale procedures for Hellenic Petroleum ELPE and gas utility DEPA.

The newly appointed energy minister Costis Hatzidakis may have highlighted the importance of these two privatizations during proceedings at the ministry’s recent handover ceremony, describing both sales as agenda priorities. However, everything concerning both will need to be placed on hold as emphasis must currently be placed on the troubled power utility PPC and the effort to find a successor for chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis, who resigned from his post at the state-controlled company shortly after the ND’s victory in the July 7 election.

TAIPED officials also need to stage a first meeting with finance minister Hristos Staikouras, during which talks on the shape of the new ND government’s privatization strategy preferences can be discussed.

ELPE’s future administrative shape, following the recent failure of an initial privatization effort, remains in the dark. Pundits have already ruled out the possibility of a repeat of this sale effort – that is, a concurrent sale of stakes by the petroleum group’s two main shareholders, the Greek State, holding 35.5 percent of ELPE, and the Latsis Group’s Paneuropean, holding 45.5 percent. It is also unknown, if not doubtful, if Paneuropean will be willing to participate in any new ELPE sale procedure.

For the time being, ELPE’s administration is focused on the preparation of the group’s first-half results, expected to be officially reported in late August, as well as an imminent approval in Greek Parliament of hydrocarbon exploration and production licenses secured – as part of a consortium also involving ExxonMobil and Total – for two offshore blocks west and southwest of Crete.

All is currently quiet along the DEPA front. The ND party, according to party sources during the lead-up to the elections, believes the gas utility must be privatized as one entity, not two, through a split of its commercial and infrastructure divisions, as was envisioned by the previous leftist Syriza government.

The DEPA-related intentions of ELPE, holding a 35 percent share of the gas utility, will be pivotal.






Grid on edge, new energy ministry notes, fearing blackouts

The newly elected conservative New Democracy government’s energy ministry fears repeats of recent blackouts experienced in Athens and Crete’s Lasithi region, in the event of protracted heatwaves, contending the grid’s powers are insufficient.

The new energy minister Costis Hatzidakis is taking every opportunity to warn that the country’s grid would find itself under severe pressure should weather conditions hit extreme situations for extended periods. Blackouts are the worst nightmare for any newly appointed energy minister.

“The grid has reached its limits,” Hatzidakis told local media over the weekend.

The system has faced additional pressure over the past few days as a result of severe storms in Halkidiki, northern Greece, which killed 7 persons.

HEDNO/DEDDIE, the operator managing the mainland’s distribution network, has decreased its investments by 39 percent over the past three years.

The operator is also believed to be severely understaffed, in terms of technical personnel, and short of spare parts needed for the grid’s security. These factors have contributed to delays in repair work, new connections and required upgrades of old infrastructure.


Crete grid link project tenders headed for new extension

Bidding deadlines for two tenders concerning the respective procurement of cables and transformers for the Crete-Athens grid interconnection, a project that is urgently needed to prevent a looming energy shortage on Crete, are headed for an extension.

Ariadne Interconnector, an SPV subsidiary established by power grid operator IPTO for the project’s development, will need to extend its bidding deadlines for the two tenders as AEPP, the Authority for the Examination of Preliminary Appeals, looking into action taken by Eurosia Interconnector, a consortium of Cypriot interests heading the wider PCI-status Greek-Cypriot-Israeli grid interconnection, has deferred its hearing for July 22 from July 15.

Euroasia Interconnector has been at odds with IPTO for development control of the wider project’s Crete-Athens segment.

The deadlines for the tenders now coincide with AEPP’s new date for the hearing. The deadline for the tender concerning the procurement of cables was previously set for July 8 before being extended to July 22. The tender for transformers was originally set for July 22.

Both tenders cannot proceed until AEPP has reached a decision on the dispute between IPTO and Eurosia Interconnector.

IPTO and RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, have already submitted their cases for the AEPP hearing.

According to pundits, Eurosia Interconnector’s chances of a decision in its favor are minimal, at best.

The Cypriot consortium’s decision to take its case to AEPP has been interpreted as a time-buying initiative taken with the hope of gaining the support of the newly elected Greek government.

While in opposition, the New Democracy party, which won last Sunday’s Greek elections, had not made clear whether it supported moves by IPTO, RAE and the ex-energy minister Giorgos Stathakis that ended up giving the Ariadne Interconnector subsidiary control of the Crete-Athens segment.


PPC lignite sale is over, overall market solution to be sought

The newly elected center-right New Democracy government, appearing determined for major energy sector changes, will begin new negotiations with the European Commission in search of an overall solution for the country’s electricity market and the role and place in it for the power utility PPC, currently struggling.

The long-running disinvestment effort offering investors PPC lignite units has just about collapsed. A binding-offers deadline for a package that includes PPC’s Megalopoli and Meliti units expires on July 15, following an extension. Investors have not shown any interest, while, given the flatness, an additional extension could not reinvigorate the sale.

The next NOME auction, the year’s third, scheduled for July 17 and planned to offer independent energy firms 500 MW/h of PPC’s lower-cost lignite and hydropower production, appears likely to be the last under existing terms agreed to by Greece and the country’s lenders. Changes are also expected along this front as part of the intention for an overall electricity market solution.

Initial contact between Brussels and officials of Greece’s new administration has already been made. Meetings are soon expected to become more regular once the government has set out the specifics of its rescue plan for PPC.

Any resulting solution will need to satisfy Greek bailout terms including the need for PPC to have reduced its retail electricity market share to less than 50 percent by the end of this year. The power utility’s share is currently at 73.5 percent, meaning PPC will need to surrender even greater low-cost electricity amounts to competitors through the NOME auctions.

Fair competition in the electricity market also needs to be assured. Hydropower sources, currently exclusively controlled by PPC, may be brought into the negotiating picture. The European Commission is currently conducting a related study on PPC’s management of hydropower generation. Findings have yet to be released.



New government indicates swift, radical measures for PPC

The newly elected center-right New Democracy government plans to take swift and radical action that will aim to remedy the financially pressured power utility PPC and ensure its sustainability and prospects, it became apparent following a meeting yesterday between Prime Minister-elect Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his energy minister Costis Hatzidakis.

The meeting, held to discuss matters at PPC, was Mitsotakis’ first with any of his cabinet members at his Prime Minister’s office, which highlights the emphasis he intends to place on the troubled power utility.

The rescue plan for PPC will benefit consumers as well as workers and offer new potential for the company, Hatzidakis, the new energy minister, stressed at the ministry’s handover ceremony.

The ND government will need to update the PPC rescue plan it had shaped as the main opposition party as the power utility’s condition appears to have deteriorated further in recent times.

An attempt to lure a strategic investor to PPC can only begin as a second stage   once the utility’s financial ambiguities and weaknesses have been improved.

PPC’s situation is complicated and does not only concern the government. The European Commission and its Directorate-General for Competition are also involved, while the privatization fund holds the power to appoint its administration.

Early measures to be taken by the new government will need to focus on improving the power utility’s ability to function.


Experienced Hatzidakis tipped to assume energy portfolio

Center-right New Democracy party deputy Costis Hatzidakis, possessing experience in energy sector matters, is rated the outright favorite to assume the new ND government’s energy and environment portfolio, sources have informed.

This choice for energy minister – if confirmed later today, when the new administration’s cabinet will be announced – highlights Prime Minister-elect Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ emphasis on the energy portfolio as well as his realization that there is no time to waste in the sector.

In the past, Hatzidakis has served as a development minister responsible for energy, while, in the lead-up to yesterday’s elections, played a leading role in shaping and projecting the ND party program for the energy sector. It included party proposals for the power utility PPC, under severe financial pressure.

Hristos Staikouras is being tipped to take over the helm at the finance ministry, while Adonis Georgiadis, also an ND deputy, is favored for the economy ministry, expected to be transformed into the investment ministry.

New ND party arrivals recruited from the center-left of the country’s political spectrum, including Mihalis Hrysohoidis and Kyriakos Pierrakakis, are also expected to figure in Mitsotakis’ government. The two officials are expected to take on consumer protection and digital policy duties, respectively.


New energy ministry to face many issues, from PPC to RES

Yesterday’s elections may have produced a new government, the New Democracy party, with a majority, but Greece’s energy sector issues, from the troubled power utility PPC to the renewable energy market’s need for greater growth, remain the same, if not more pressing.

ND party deputy, Costis Hatizidakis, possessing extensive experience, is slated for the energy portfolio, a choice suggesting the country’s new administration will place particular emphasis on the energy sector. The new cabinet will be announced later today.

In the lead-up to yesterday’s elections, ND described the situation at PPC, under severe financial pressure, as a time bomb created by the outgoing Syriza-led government’s choices.

ND will need to pursue measures that, on the one hand, will lessen the power utility’s electricity market dominance – as part of a wider EU-required effort for electricity market liberalization – and, on the other, restructure and modernize the corporation for ensured sustainability. This would enable PPC to continue serving as a main pillar in the country’s energy system.

The new energy minister will also need to reinvigorate investment interest in the energy sector, both for conventional electricity generation and, most crucially, renewable energy output. Corporate groups, domestic and foreign, have shown signs of investment interest in the Greek market. But specific conditions need to be guaranteed if this interest is to be followed through with action.

The same goes for the hydrocarbon exploration and production sector, where procedural delays need to be eradicated.

Also, industrial energy costs, a chronic issue in Greece, need to be resolved if investment activity is to be boosted.



ND, if elected, wants 65% DEPA sale, not split and sale

The main opposition New Democracy party, if victorious in the July 7 snap elections, intends to privatize gas utility DEPA as one corporate entity, through the sale of a 65 percent stake, rather than through a split-and-sale procedure offering separate trading and infrastructure entities, as has been promoted by the ruling Syriza government, currently well behind in polls.

The role of Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), holding a 35 percent share of DEPA, will be influential when the time comes to make decisions.

Up until now, ELPE has indicated it would be interested in acquiring a 65 percent stake of DEPA Trade – one of the two DEPA entities envisioned by the government for the utility’s split and sale – either alone or with Italy’s Edison, ELPE’s strategic partner.

However, ELPE’s main shareholder, the Latsis group’s Paneuropean Oil, holding a 45.5 percent share, could revise its stance if DEPA’s new sale procedure is redrafted from scratch, as would most probably be the case with a conservative ND election victory.

During a parliamentary debate in March, ND party representatives clearly opposed Syriza’s plan for a DEPA split, describing it as an unnecessary, excessive and complicated approach that would ultimately suppress DEPA’s market value.

The DEPA split, forged by the energy ministry, is not listed as a bailout term, but the country did commit itself to a reduced retail gas market presence for DEPA. This demand was met some time ago when DEPA withdrew from gas supply firm EPA Thessaloniki-Thessaly and acquired Shell’s stakes in EPA Attiki and EDA Attiki, respective supply and distribution firms covering the wider Athens area.



ND opposition party informs Brussels of its PPC rescue plan

The main opposition New Democracy party has informed the European Commission of a three-stage rescue plan it has prepared for troubled power utility PPC and intends to implement if victorious in the July 7 snap elections, as was strongly indicated by the results of the recent European elections.

Losses incurred by PPC in 2018, followed by further losses in the first quarter this year, have placed the utility under the microscope at the DG Finance.

PPC’s broad debt exposure, the prospect of operating profit capsizing into losses, combined with the utility’s dominant market position, have sounded off the warning alarm in Brussels.

The first stage of the ND party’s rescue effort entails a revenue boost campaign through the collection of unpaid receivables, combined with cost cuts, and, primarily, the sale of lignite and hydropower units to private-sector enterprises through international auctions.

The second stage of the plan involves job cuts as part of PPC’s  contraction into a smaller company that will end up holding less than 50 percent of the market. Voluntary exit and early pension plans will be offered to drastically shorten the payroll.

The rescue plan’s third stage entails the incorporation of a strategic partner, the objective being to steer PPC towards growth through broadened entrepreneurial activities, including expansion abroad and investments in the renewable energy and electric vehicles sectors.


PPC, ND opposition party dread utility’s first-half results

Power utility PPC’s trajectory towards a poor first-half performance, expected as a result of disappointing first-quarter figures and looming very bad results for the second quarter, are a concern for both the company itself and the main opposition New Democracy party, if it is voted into power at the July 7 elections, as the recent European election results have indicated.

There are no signs of a late second-quarter rebound for PPC within the next fortnight or so, when the first-half period is completed.

Not surprisingly, the ND party has remained quiet on PPC, marginalizing the power utility on its pre-election agenda.

Cash flow problems are dreaded at PPC, a corporation with 16,747 staff members on the payroll, a senior company official recently acknowledged in comments to reporters.

PPC’s first-half results, to be published in autumn, as is customary, will provide a clear picture on the course of the company, which has relied heavily on cash injections from the State for support but has not received any new amount of late.

Most recently, PPC was expecting a cash injection of 250 million euros for public service compensation (YKO) concerning 2011. The prospect, which would have offered PPC some relief, was blocked by finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos.



DEPA split all but over, next administration to pick new plan

Legislation engineered by the energy ministry to split gas utility DEPA into two new entities, DEPA Trade and DEPA Infrastructure, as a prelude to a privatization procedure for both, appears to be all but over following the ruling Syriza party’s poor showing in last weekend’s European elections, which prompted Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to announce snap elections.

The country’s next administration will need to pick a new model for this privatization.

Greece’s snap elections may take place on July 7 instead of June 30, the date originally planned, to avoid the process from coinciding with nationwide university entrance exams, scheduled between June 6 and July 2.

The energy ministry has made clear it will not take any further steps on any matters in its portfolio, including DEPA, during the run-up to Greece’s imminent elections.

Officials at the ministry have cited “political correctness” for not committing any subsequent government to pre-election decisions.

The main opposition New Democracy party, which outperformed Syriza by over 9 percentage points in Sunday’s European election and now appears set for an electoral victory at the upcoming national elections, has consistently disagreed on the necessity of the government’s split plan for DEPA ever since March, when the plan was tabled in parliament. ND officials have described the plan as complicated, unnecessary and ultimately damaging for the DEPA privatization.

The country’s series of bailout agreements have not included any terms requiring a split of DEPA’s trading and infrastructure divisions, an arrangement uncommon in many European countries.

Infringement procedures for PPC units ‘launched by Brussels’

The European Commission has begun infringement procedures against Greece in reaction to the main power utility PPC’s decision to continue operating its Amynteo and Kardia lignite-fired power stations, Kostas Skrekas, the main opposition New Democracy party’s shadow energy minister told yesterday’s Power & Gas Supply Forum in Athens, attributing his disclosure to a Brussels source.

The two power stations, among the Greek system’s oldest and least efficient, have been able to keep operating as a result of respective 17,500-hour lifeline extensions granted by the European Commission.

This additional time has now been exhausted by the Amynteo facility and is close to running out for Kardia, whose extension ends in May.

The Greek government and state-controlled PPC have disregarded these limits and decided to increase Brussels’ extension to 32,000-hour extensions for both power stations, a move that has not been accepted by the European Commission.

Amynteo and Kardia are continuing to operate amid highly inefficient conditions, exhausting more efficient gas-fueled power stations operated by both PPC and private-sector electricity producers, Dinos Benroubi, the energy division head at the Mytilineos group, supported at yesterday’s forum.

Given the typically slow bureaucratic procedures in Brussels, the time-extension issue surrounding the two PPC units promises to represent yet another challenge for the country’s next administration, set to emerge no later than October when national elections are due.

Poor PPC first-half results prompt parliamentary debate

The unfavorable news, announced earlier this week, of main power utility PPC’s negative first half results, including an operating loss of 148.5 million euros, will shift to Greek Parliament today for a debate instigated by the conservative main opposition New Democracy party, claiming the Syriza-Independent Greeks coalition’s policies concerning the state-contolled utility are driving it towards bankruptcy.

The utility’s losses, tightening finances, as well as the repercussions of a government market share contraction plan, demanded by the bailout, which the opposition party noted promises to halve PPC’s turnover without anything in exchange, were among the issues raised in a question put forward by 39 New Democracy MPs, including Konstantinos Skrekas (photo), the party’s head of energy, environment and climate change.

The opposition party MPs, in their parliamentary question, also demand information on the government’s rescue and development plan for PPC; the planned sale of a package containing 40 percent of the utility’s lignite capacity; and the anticipated value of investments expected from the private sector.

The ND team also enquires as to how PPC intends to cover staff salaries, service debt, pursue investment plans and settle outstanding payments to suppliers – who, in turn, are battling to cover their payrolls – if the utility’s turnover level drops by 50 percent in two years’ time.

The ND team also wants to know how PPC intends to improve its poor electricity bill collections record, keeping the utility’s unpaid receivables at an alarming level.



Main opposition ND party to discuss energy sector alternatives

Greece’s main opposition conservative New Democracy party, viewing the local energy market as a fundamental tool for the counry’s economic recovery, will today launch a new communication drive with sector representatives and entrepreneurs.

Three pertinent party officials, Kostis Hatzidakis, Olga Kefalogianni and Kostas Skrekas, will spearhead an event to be staged at a central Athens hotel with this objective in mind.

Utility representatives as well as various other officials, including independent electricity supply company representatives, RES producers and large-scale industrial energy consumers, will also take part.

Besides presenting a critical view of the current government’s energy-sector policies and decisions, the New Democracy party officials will also offer their party’s energy policies. Discussions will also be held with sector official on the national energy strategy and energy market.