PPC Renewables tender for major solar energy farm in spring

PPC Renewables, a wholly-owned subsidiary of power utility PPC, plans to stage a tender in spring for a major solar energy project in northern Greece’s Ptolemaida area, which, when completed, promises to rank among Europe’s biggest.

The project will offer a total capacity of 230 MW,  create at least 300 jobs during construction and, once launched, generate 390,000 MWh capable of covering the needs of approximately 290,000 consumers, energypress sources informed.

The overall project will be comprised of three packages – two small units totaling 30 MW whose tenders have either already been launched or are about to be announced within the next few weeks; as well as a major 200-MW facility whose tender is being planned for spring by PPC Renewables.

At present, PPC Renewables’ portfolio consists of 150 MW in completed RES projects and a further 100 MW under construction, while a further 280 MW, including the 230-MW project, will soon be added.

The Ptolemaida project is expected to require between 24 to 36 months to complete.

Drastic changes to reshape energy sector by end of 2020

Major developments in Greece’s energy sector, from lignite to natural gas, renewable energy, energy efficiency, as well as the geopolitical effects, promise a drastic reshape of the sector over the next year.

A first batch of power utility PPC’s existing lignite-fired power stations will have ceased operating as part of a plan for a full withdrawal by the end of 2023. PPC will have a reduced number of employees on its payroll. This will have positively impacted the utility’s profit figures.

Also, a first round of major renewable energy projects expected to be launched by PPC subsidiary PPC Renewables through partnerships, as part of the parent company’s wider turn to green energy, will intensify competition in the renewable energy market.

Furthermore, this time next year, assets currently belonging to gas utility DEPA, both in trade and infrastructure, may have been transferred to new owners. This development promises to reshape the entrepreneurial map as the private sector’s dominance will be absolute.

In the retail market, the number of players is expected to have diminished as a result of a new round of takeovers and mergers, amid heightened competition, as was also the case in telecommunications in the recent past.

In addition, Greece’s energy exchange will have clocked up several months of operations by the end of the year. Its arrival will intensify competition, remove market distortions and allow dormant potential to be realized through coupling with neighboring markets.

By the end of 2020, the TAP gas pipeline will have begun delivering its first orders of Azeri gas to Europe, the Greek-Bulgarian IGB gas pipeline will be nearing completion, while procedures leading to the development of the Alexandroupoli FSRU and an underground gas storage facility in the offshore area south of Kavala will have made progress.

Without a doubt, Greece’s energy sector appears to be waking up to the new reality, leaving behind anachronistic perceptions and embracing the green energy revolution. The country is now adopting new ways implemented by the overwhelming majority of European territories two decades earlier.


PPC Renewables planning PV parks at depleted lignite fields

PPC Renewables, a subsidiary of power utility PPC, is looking to develop major-scale solar energy parks at its depleted lignite fields in northern Greece’s west Macedonia region as well as Megalopoli, in the Peloponnese.

The subsidiary, given – by PPC chief executive Giorgos Stassis – the challenging task of materializing PPC’s ambitious turn to renewable energy, has submitted applications to RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, for solar energy production permits with a total capacity of approximately 1,500 MW.

These applications, submitted to RAE during the first ten-day period of December, promise to add to PPC’s portfolio of existing RES units, totaling 4.5 GW.

The maturity levels of existing PPC Renewables units range from premature to operating. The PPC board is currently involved in talks with Greek and foreign corporate groups for the establishment of consortiums to develop many of these existing projects.

New partnerships along the lines of a deal lined up between PPC Renewables and Masdar Taaleri Generation (MTG) will soon be announced, sources informed.

PPC plans to have constructed RES projects offering a further capacity of roughly 1 GW by 2024 from a portfolio of already-licensed projects totaling approximately 6 GW.

Besides PPC, hiring, pay limits to also be eased at subsidiaries

Besides the power utility PPC, rigid recruitment regulations set by ASEP, the Supreme Council for Civil Personnel Selection, will also be eased for subsidiaries DEDDIE/HEDNO, the distribution network operator, and PPC Renewables.

The new terms, to also include a relaxation of remuneration and procurement restrictions, are part of a wide-reaching draft bill to be presented by the energy ministry’s leadership at a Ministerial Council meeting today.

The energy ministry is determined to distance both PPC and its subsidiaries from bailout-related restrictions imposed on public-sector enterprises.

However, the draft bill will not include privatization-plan details for DEDDIE, whose model and procedures will be shaped within the framework of a new PPC business plan being prepared and expected to be completed within December, sources informed.

A finalized decision has been reached on gas utility DEPA’s privatization plan. The corporation will be split into two new entities, DEPA Trade and DEPA Infrastructure, and the Greek State’s entire 65 percent stake will be privatized. Hellenic Petroleum ELPE controls DEPA’s remaining 35 percent.

Also, DEPA’s international projects will be removed from the utility and incorporated into a new autonomous state-controlled company. The gas utility’s international projects include its stakes in the IGB and Poseidon pipelines, plus Memorandums of Cooperation and agreements, such as the Alexandroupoli FSRU plan.

The draft bill does not appear to include any terms on the futures of DEPA employees and sub-contracted staff members.

Appointment of new PPC Renewables chief ends PPC takeover plan

PPC Renewables, a power utility PPC subsidiary, has appointed Konstantinos Mavros, possessing vast experience in the renewable energy sector, as its new chief executive.

The appointment of a RES sector expert as new PPC Renewables boss signals a decision by PPC’s new administration to stop the parent company’s takeover of the subsidiary, as was planned by the previous PPC leadership.

As a result, PPC Renewables will remain autonomous and be reinforced for a leading green energy role.

Unlike PPC, under financial pressure, PPC Renewables is in robust condition.

Mavros’ appointment as chief executive signals PPC’s strategic objective for dynamic growth in the RES sector, PPC boss Giorgos Stassis noted.

The new PPC Renewables boss is backed by vast international experience in energy, infrastructure, finance and technology. He has worked in the renewable energy sector for many years and is a co-founder of Velocity. Partners, a venture capital fund supported by the European Investment Fund.

Mavros holds a MSc Finance from Imperial College London and has completed post-graduate programs in finance and energy at Harvard Business School.



Banks blocking PPC plan for absorption of PPC Renewables

Banks lending vital amounts to the main power utility PPC are believed to be preventing the utility from proceeding with a plan to absorb its wholly-owned subsidiary PPC Renewables as they consider this entity’s renewable energy business prospects favorable and do not want it to become a part of the troubled parent company, sources have informed.

PPC recently needed to secure a 200 million-euro bank loan as part of the effort to service an upcoming 350 million euro bond payment.

Late last November, the power utility’s board reached a decision to absorb PPC Renewables by December 31, 2018, but this has not happened.

Banks have not imposed any restrictions on PPC Renewables’ shares as the parent company has fought hard to prevent them from being used as collateral but the subsidiary’s independence was set as a condition for PPC’s borrowing ability.

Meanwhile, a PPC plan for the establishment of a new business development division whose tasks will include spurring RES sector growth has unsettled PPC Renewables employees as they have been excluded from prospective posts to be created by this initiative.

As a result, PPC Renewables employees, in an unprecedented move, have announced a work stoppage for today, and threaten to take further strike action.


Eight mixed auction applications submitted, 456 MW offered

Prospective participants of Greece’s first mixed RES auction, scheduled for April 15 and designed to place wind and solar energy investors in the same bidding arena with equal terms for intensified competition, submitted eight applications representing a total capacity of 637.78 MW on the recent March 21 deadline.

This means that a total capacity of 456 MW will be offered to bidders instead of the entire 600-MW amount announced by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, as a result of a regulation designed to intensify competition.

The total amount requested through the applications would have needed to exceed the 600-MW total by 40 percent if the full amount were to be offered at the upcoming auction.

Confirming previous energypress reports, the overwhelming majority of applications concern solar energy projects.

Authorities are now processing applications to determine the eligibility of interested parties interested in taking part in April’s mixed RES auction.

Solar or wind energy projects over 20 MW, PV projects that have qualified for fast-track procedures, as well as mixed wind-and-solar projects to be jointly connected to the grid are all eligible for participation at the forthcoming mixed auction.

A 200-MW solar energy park project planned by PPC Renewables in Kozani, northern Greece, another 200-MW solar energy project planned by JUWI Hellas, as well as two projects totalling 104 MW and planned by Spes Solaris, a member of the Panagakos group, are among the major projects expected to take part in the mixed RES auction. The two Spes Solaris projects are fast-track procedure qualifiers.

New wind turbine connections to grid rise by 7.2% in 2018

A total of 103 new wind turbine facilities with a combined capacity of 191.6 MW were connected to the country’s grid in 2018, a 7.2 percent year-on-year increase, the ELETAEN figures showed, according to latest data released by ELETAEN, the Greek Wind Energy Association.

EREN, the renewable energy group founded and headed by Greek-French entrepreneur Paris Mouratoglou, has emerged as a new entry in Greece’s top-five list of RES investors with investments offering a total capacity of 210.9 MW, a 7.5 percent market share.

EREN, which recently established a strategic agreement with Total, is now ranked fifth, replacing Enel Green Power, which has dropped to sixth place.

The top-five list’s four other enterprises held their places. Terna Energy leads with 536.1 MW, a 19 percent share; El. Tech Anemos is ranked second with 285.6 MW (10.1%), Iberdrola Rokas is third with 250.7 MW (8.9%); and EDF EN Hellas is placed fourth with 238.2 MW (8.4%)., according to the ELETAEN data.

CF Ventus, a venture of the Fortress Fund, has emerged as Greece’s new RES market arrival following its acquisition of wind energy parks from the Libra group. CF Ventus is continuing to invest in the sector.

Facilities at old wind energy parks with a total capacity of 15.43 MW operated by PPC Renewables, primarily in Crete and the North Aegean, were uninstalled in 2018.  Work on their replacements has already begun.

Vestas continued to dominate Greece’s wind turbine supply market, providing an impressive 78.2 percent of all turbines installed in 2018.

As for the spatial distribution of wind capacity in Greece, the central mainland continues to be ranked first with 907 MW (32%) and is followed by the Peloponnese with 550 MW (19%) and eastern Macedonia-Thrace with 375 MW (13%).


PPC Renewables boss resigns over subsidiary’s absorption

PPC Renewables chief executive Ilias Monaholias has resigned in protest of the subsidiary’s recent absorption by parent company PPC, the main power utility, describing the move as one that jeopardizes the corporation’s growth in the RES sector as well as the continuation of projects in progress and the current business plan.

The resignation comes just days after PPC board member Lazaros Stathakis, citing his disapproval of the subsidiary firm’s absorption by PPC, announced his decision to abandon his post as an executive board member at the end of this month. It is understood he has opted to remain a board member.

Monaholias, who led PPC Renewables over the past two years, stressed he cannot serve a plan he opposes.

The absorption by the parent company will deprive PPC Renewables of versatility and speed, crucial factors for RES growth in the Greek market, Monaholias indicated, while adding that a large part of PPC’s corporate structure has not been friendly towards green investments over the years.

A strategic plan prepared by consulting firm McKinsey for PPC has proposed the continued independence of PPC Renewables as a reinforced and restructured enterprise.



PPC board member quits over PPC Renewables absorption

Main power utility PPC board member Lazaros Stathakis has announced his resignation, citing his objection to the utility’s absorption of subsidiary firm PPC Renewables.

Stathakis, a chemical engineer with a non-PPC background – including posts in Brussels, representing both Greece and the European Commission, private-sector jobs, as well as an eight-month tenure at the Greek privatization fund TAIPED in 2015 – told fellow board members he is not convinced of the move’s necessity, adding it could end up hampering the corporation’s plans for further RES market penetration.

The PPC board approved the parent company’s absorption of PPC Renewables at yesterday’s meeting and described the initiative as vital for the corporation’s growth and investments in the renewable energy market.

According to a strategic plan prepared for PPC by the McKinsey consulting firm, the power utility will need to invest 700 million euros between 2018 and 2022 to secure 25 percent of new RES capacity, totalling approximately 615 MW, to be auctioned off by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

Meanwhile, 220 retirement-age PPC employees still working at the power utility have been given an extra month, until January 31, 2019, to sign up for a voluntary retirement offer, including bonuses, the PPC board decided yesterday.


RES sector a vital growth factor, consultant advises PPC

The main power utility PPC needs to invest in the renewable energy domain as a fundamental growth tool, consulting firm McKinsey has advised in a business plan prepared for its client.

PPC should aim for a RES capacity of 2 GW to 2.5 GW between 2030 and 2035; increase its share in this sector from 3 percent to 10 percent by 2022; represent approximately 25 percent of new RES installations for the grid; boost its EBITDA operating profit stemming from renewable energy by a level of between 73 and 84 million euros by 2022; restructure its PPC Renewables subsidiary in terms of ownership and capabilities; and set up a specialized project development team at PPC Renewables.

PPC Renewables must aim for growth not only through PPC-owned projects but also partnership ventures involving the utility’s subsidiary and other firms, the business plan notes.

The plan also calls for 1.5 to 2 billion euros of PV investments for roughly 2.2 GW of additional solar capacity; wind energy investments of 1.8 to 2.4 billion euros for a resulting additional capacity of 1.4 to 1.9 GW, biomass investments worth 1.5 to 2.1 billion euros for 0.6 to 0.8 GW, as well as geothermal investments of 2.4 to 3.2 billion euros for 0.5 to 0.7 GW.

Lesvos, Methana the launch pads for geothermal projects

PPC Renewables plans to start developing two of four geothermal fields to which the company holds exclusive exploration and utilization rights with ventures on the island Lesvos and Methana, a peninsula in northeast Peloponnese.

These starting choices, where geothermal exploration work is believed to be imminent, have a purpose. Locals on Milos and Nisyros, two other spots also being eyed, both object to geothermal development. Back in the 1980s, islanders on Milos strongly reacted against a geothermal development plan, fearing its environmental impact. However, PPC Renewables officials are now hoping this resistance of the past will ease once islanders are fully informed of technological advancements in the sector.

Besides Lesvos and Methana, PPC Renewables also intends to develop geothermal fields on Nisyros, as well as the island complex of Milos, Kimolos and Polyaegos, the Aegean Sea’s largest uninhabited island.

PPC Renewables plans to establish a strategic partnership with Helector SA, a member of the Ellaktor group, for these ventures. Helector, the winning bidder in a related tender, is expected to hold a 51 percent stake in its joint venture with PPC Renewables.

A wholly-owned subsidiary of the main power utility PPC, PPC Renewables is anticipating the signing of a ministerial decision by the energy ministry before it proceeds with the formation of its partnership with Helector.

PPC Renewables plans to develop an 8-MW geothermal power station on Lesvos and 5-MW geothermal facilities at each of the other locations.

Ministry responds to geothermal energy impact concerns

Thirty of thirty-two geothermal fields discovered in Greece so far may be utilized to greatly support production and offer significant energy cost reductions in sectors such as farming, fish farming and processing, the energy ministry has pointed out in response to environmental and tourism sector concerns expressed by a main opposition party MP over plans for geothermal development on the island Nisyros.

The energy potential offered by these geothermal fields, whose enthalpy levels are low, can also be utilized to cover household, school and hospital heating needs, the ministry added in its response to intervention by conservative New Democracy party MP Manos Konsolas, representing the Dodecanese islands.

Despite the geothermal sector’s tremendous potential for development as a renewable energy source, just a small fraction is currently being utilized at present, primarily in fields such as alternative medical tourism, as a result of legislative obstacles, according to the ministry.

A new draft bill prepared by the energy ministry promoting geothermal development is now undergoing public consultation and is soon expected to be submitted to parliament for ratification. It includes strict climate change protection regulations intended to gain the trust of local communities for geothermal utilization as a renewable energy source.

Besides Nisyros, efforts are also being made to utilize geothermal fields at Methana – a peninsula in northeast Peloponnese – Lesvos, as well as the island complex of Milos, Kimolos and Polyaegos, the Aegean Sea’s largest uninhabited island.

Officials at PPC Renewables, behind these efforts, believe the reluctance, if not outright opposition, of residents on some of the islands to the geothermal plan will ease once islanders are fully informed of technological advancements in the sector, preventing environmental impact. Locals reacted back in the 1980s against an initiative for the development of a geothermal field on Milos.




Ellaktor, Terna up bids for PPC Renewables geothermal tender

Two investment schemes, Helector SA, a member of the Ellaktor group, as well as a team comprised of Terna Energy and sister company Terna Aioliki Xerovouniou SA, have improved their binding second-round bids in an international tender staged by PPC Renewables for a strategic partner in the installation of power stations to utilize four geothermal fields.

PPC Renewables, which holds the operating rights to these fields, requested increased bids from the tender’s participants. A supervisory committee is expected, within the next few days, to deliver its results to the PPC Renewables board, which will then decide.

PPC Renewables, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the main power utility PPC, is aiming for swift progress in its quest for a strategic partner and the establishment of a finalized partnership agreement as soon as possible.

PPC Renewables is aiming to utilize geothermal fields at Methana – a peninsula in northeast Peloponnese – the islands Lesvos and Nisyros, as well as the island complex of Milos, Kimolos and Polyaegos, the Aegean Sea’s largest uninhabited island.

PPC Renewables plans to establish a joint venture with its prospective strategic partner to develop geothermal power stations of at least 8 MW on Lesvos and 5 MW at each of the other locations.

PPC Renewables intends to soon launch exploratory drilling procedures at its own expense. These drilling endeavors are planned to run concurrently with the ongoing selection process for a strategic partner.

Officials at PPC Renewables believe the reluctance, if not outright opposition, of residents on some of the islands to the geothermal plan will ease once islanders are fully informed of technological advancements in the sector, preventing environmental impact. Locals reacted back in the 1980s against an initiative for the development of a geothermal field on Milos.





RES prices driven considerably lower at yesterday’s auction

Intense bidding competition pushed prices considerably lower at yesterday’s descending-price RES auctions held by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, offering prices for solar and wind-energy project output.

Three auctions were staged for three sub-categories – small-scale photovoltaic installations of less than one MW; larger-scale PV installations measuring between one and 20 MW; and wind energy installations of between 3 and 50 MW.

The lowest price at the wind energy auction, whose starting price was set at 90 euros per MWh, reached 68 euros per MWh, while the highest price achieved for payment of RES energy production was close to 72 euros per MWh, energypress sources informed.

PPC Renewables, Iberdrola Rokas, Vendavel and a newly arrived foreign firm, which submitted the wind energy sub-category’s lowest bid, were among the participants who secured remuneration prices for output at projects.

At the auction for larger-scale PV installations, whose starting price was set at 80 euros per MWh, the smallest bid reached a level of 63 euros per MWh and the biggest was 71 euros per MWh. Germany’s ABO, whose bids were extremely aggressive, EYDAP, Biokarpet and Dimokritios were among the participants in this category.

Prices in the auction for small-scale PV installations, whose starting price was set at 85 euros, reached as low as 76 euros per MWh.

The top prices reached at yesterday’s three auctions will be used to shape the starting prices of the next RES auction.

Considerable delays that affected the online bidding system towards the end of the session, especially in the auction concerning small-scale PV installations, led to protests by participants who were not able to submit improved bids on time.

A RAE term requiring auction participation registrations to represent amounts exceeding the amounts to be auctioned by at least 75 percent was a key factor behind the intense bidding at yesterday’s session. The objective was to drive down prices for renewable energy output in order to burden consumers as least as possible.

Yesterday’s auction proves that it is realistic to limit the environmental footprint without incurring significant energy cost increases, energy minister Giorgos Stathakis commented following the session.


Ellaktor, Terna left in PPC Renewables geothermal tender

Two investment schemes, Helector SA, a member of the Ellaktor group, as well as a team comprised of Terna Energy and sister company Terna Aioliki Xerovouniou SA, have submitted binding second-round bids to an international tender staged by PPC Renewables for a strategic partner in the installation of power stations to utilize four geothermal fields.

The tender’s deadline for second-round offers expired on June 1. A total of six teams had expressed first-round interest.

Besides Helector and the Terna Energy-Terna Aioliki Xerovouniou team, Enel Green Power Hellas, France’s Storengy, KS Orka from Singapore, as well as Zorlu-Turboden, a Turkish-Italian joint venture, also participated in the first round.

PPC Renewables, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the main power utility PPC, is aiming for swift progress in its quest for a strategic partner and the establishment of a finalized partnership agreement as soon as possible.

PPC Renewables plans to establish a joint venture with its prospective strategic partner to develop geothermal power stations of at least 8 MW on Lesbos and 5 MW at each of the other locations.

PPC Renewables intends to soon launch exploratory drilling procedures at its own expense. These drilling endeavors are planned to run concurrently with the ongoing selection process for a strategic partner.

Officials at PPC Renewables believe the reluctance, if not outright opposition, of residents on some of the islands to the geothermal plan will subside once islanders are fully informed of technological advancements in the sector, preventing environmental impact. Locals reacted back in the 1980s against an initiative for the development of a geothermal field on Milos.



PPC Renewables to offer €17.5m bond issue for project investments

PPC Renewables has decided to proceed with a 17.5 million-euro bond issue following the plan’s approval by the board at parent company PPC, the main power corporation.

PPC Renewables intends to use the funds to be raised by the bond issue to finance investment plans. An EIB loan agreement was signed as part of this plan late last year.

The firm intends to use the funds to finance 18 RES project investments, all small-scale wind energy parks in various parts of Greece, including the islands Kefalonia, Chios, Lesvos, Crete, Mykonos, Samos, Evia, Limnos, Karpathos, Ikaria, Tinos and Psara, as well as Karditsa on the mainland.

The country’s RES production is expected to be boosted by 90 MW.

The bond issue will be covered by the National Bank of Greece and its subsidiary NBG Malta Ltd.

The administration at PPC Renewables still needs to decide on the bond issue’s terms. A final decision will be made at an upcoming general meeting.

The wider PPC Renewables investment plan for the next few years includes RES installations totalling 700 MW.

Kozani PV project to reenter fast track, minus fixed price

A prospective 200-MW photovoltaic park planned development for Kozani, northern Greece, by PPC Renewables, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the main power utility PPC, appears set to be reinducted into the fast-track investments category, but its reinclusion will not come with all the benefits offered in the past.

Though this investment can, as a result, be expected to proceed at a more rapid pace than other projects, it will not be able to secure a fixed price for renewable energy output, as was the case with PV investments qualifying for fast-track procedures in the past.

The Kozani investment will need to secure its tariff levels at RES auctions as any projects previously removed from the fast-track category, as was the case with this PV park, can no longer be offered fixed tariffs and avoid RES auctions, energypress sources have explained.

The Kozani project, envisioned as the world’s biggest photovoltaic park by former Prime Minister George Papandreou during his tenure just under a decade ago, was removed from the fast-track category several years ago as a previous PPC administration believed the investment plan stood no chance of being actualized. Consequently, this fast-track removal will now deprive the prospective investment of the right to a fixed price for output. The loss of this right cannot be regained, sector experts explained.

The setback is not expected to prevent investors from wanting to join PPC Renewables to co-develop the major-scale PV project, licensed many years ago. Its budget has been estimated at 180 million euros.

According to the same energypress sources, PPC Renewables will seek an investment partner willing to take on the greater part of this cost. A Chinese partner has not been ruled out.

PPC Renewables has already signed a series of MoUs with China’s Sumec Group, a member of the China National Machinery Industry Corporation (Sinomach), for the development of RES projects in Greece and the wider region. This does not necessarily mean that PPC Renewables will also join forces with Sumec for the Kozani PV investment.

Sources said the search by PPC Renewables for an investment partner will commence as soon as the Kozani project regains its fast-track status, minus the fixed price rights.




PPC Renewables aiming for development of 700 MW in 2018-19

Looking forward to RES auctions scheduled for this coming April, PPC Renewables aims to develop 700 MW in RES capacity over the next two years, primarily in the wind and photovoltaic energy domains.

PPC Renewables intends to begin with 18 wind and small hydropower projects totaling 90 MW and budgeted at 114 million euros. Their financing was secured just weeks ago by the European Invetsment Bank.

PPC Renewables will be taking part in the energy ministry’s upcoming RES auctions backed by a strong portfolio comprised of wind and photovoltaic projects in various parts of Greece. These include 30 MW in Karditsa, 10 MW in Kefalonia and 4.5 MW in Tinos.

PPC Renewables is also currently examining buying stakes in existing licenses, locally and especially abroad, to develop projects with partners. Albania, Kosovo and Ukraine appear to be the foreign markets being targeted for projects with capacities ranging between 1 and 2 MW to begin with. The EBRD and World Bank, financing green projects in developing markets, appear likely to participate in these investments.

Besides its plans to develop mature projects, PPC Renewables is also considering working on projects of medium maturity, for completion by 2020. These projects, which include investments in the wind, geothermal and biomass sectors, possess a total capacity of 244 MW and are budgeted at 430 million euros in total.

PPC Renewables is also in the process of gaining a license for a 200-MW photovoltaic project budgeted at 160 million euros, which the firm expects to develop by 2020.

The firm is also planning to develop geothermal facilities on the island Santorini as joint projects with the local municipality. A tender staged by PPC Renewables in search of a strategic partner to co-develop geothermal fields in Methana, Lesvos, Nisyros, Milos, Kimolos and Polyaigos is currently in progress. Six participants face an end-of-January deadline to submit their binding offers. PPC Renewables is expected to have named its strategic partner by March.

Ilias Monaholias, the head official at PPC Renewables, admitted feeling perplexed by a concern over geothermal development expressed on the islands Nisyros and Milos. “It is difficult for me to understand why other islands fear geothermal development when Santorini does not,” Monaholias remarked.

PPC’s 3Q results suggest signs of a possible rebound

An initial reading of main power utility PPC’s third quarter results, released yesterday, reflects the utility’s adjustment problems amid the electricity market’s new conditions as well as  problems caused by its gradual market share contraction and a variety of external factors. However, the results also offer signs of improvement in terms of liquidity, loans and bad debt.

According to PPC, the corporation’s results were impacted by 411.2 million euros in additional costs stemming from the effort to counter last winter’s energy crisis, the imposition of a supplier surcharge introduced to feed the RES special account, the NOME auctions, as well as a special consumption tax (EFK) hike imposed on diesel.

Looking beyond the significant reduction of various company performance figures, certain figures do offer some signs of a possible PPC rebound, assuming the bailout-required disinvestment of lignite units succeeds to inject fresh capital into the corporation’s coffers.

The 3Q results posted yesterday showed a noteable 54 percent increase in cash deposits to 489.9 million euros from 318 million euros at the end of 2016. The corporation’s net debt fell by 11 percent to 3.846 billion euros from 4.322 billion euros. Despite a reduction in sales and profit, the operating profit margin showed a marginal improvement.

The results coincided with an 85 million euro loan extended by the EIB to subsidiary PPC Renewables, the first loan secured by the PPC group since 2014, when it issued two international bonds, one of which was serviced last May.



PPC Renewables planning 7 subsidiaries to cover RES field

PPC Renewables, a wholly owned subsidiary of main power utility PPC, plans to establish seven new specialized subsidiaries with the aim of developing various types of RES projects. Private investors will be given the opportunity to acquire stakes of as much as 51 percent in these ventures.

The seven new subsidiaries, or Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs), will each focus on specific categories such as projects abroad, wind farm installations, biomass and geothermal electricity production, the board at PPC has decided. The plan is expected to be approved at an upcoming PPC Renewables shareholders’ meeting.

Through these SPVs, PPC Renewables will seek to benefit from the greater capacity enjoyed by private-sector enterprises in financing, construction and exploitation of energy project opportunities.

Depending on the nature of each project, PPC Renewables will – when it deems necessary –  establish joint ventures with private-sector partners to be offered stakes of as much as 51 percent.

Business prospects being considered by PPC Renewables through the prospective subsidiaries include development of RES projects in Kosovo and and Turkey; wind farms with, for example, firms already holding licenses; construction of a major 100-MW wind farm – budgeted at 160 million euros – in the Rodopi area, northeastern Greece; as well as the development of biomass, biogas and geothermal faciilities.


PPC Renewables, Chinese partner Sumec eyeing Cyprus

Two months after signing a Memorandum of Understanding, PPC Renewables, a wholly owned subsidiary of main power utility PPC, and China’s Sumec Group, a member of the China National Machinery Industry Corporation (Sinomach), are preparing to enter the Cypriot market.

The two partners intend to establish a joint venture for development of RES projects, especially wind and solar facilities, as well as energy efficiency initiatives through emphasis on net metering, a domain expected to experience considerable growth in Cyprus over the next few years.

Ilias Monaholias, the head official at PPC Renewables, who recently made note of the MoU signed with Sumac, stressed that emphasis will be placed on identifying the best possible RES sector investments and bolstering the investment activity of PPC Renewables, domestically and abroad.

Christopher Tan, director of Sumec Clean Energy International, informed the company is examining prospective projects in the Balkans and wider southeast Europe region.

China National Machinery Industry Corporation (Sinomach), Sumec’s parent company, also controls CMEC, which has signed an MoU with PPC for development of lignite projects.

PPC Renewables geothermal tender draws 7 major bidders

An international tender staged by PPC Renewables in search of a strategic partner to assist in the development, for electricity generation, of geothermal fields in Lesbos, Nisyros, Milos, Kymolos (Polyaigo) and Methana has drawn a total of seven major local and foreign bidders to the competition’s first round.

PPC Renewables, a wholly owned subsidiary of the main power utility PPC, holds exclusive exploration and explotation rights to these fields.

Enel Green Power Hellas, the Greek subsidiary of major Italian renewable energy company Enel; Ilektor, a member of the Ellaktor group; Terna Energy; France’s Storengy; Zorlu-Turboden, a Turkish-Italian joint venture; Turkey’s Maren; and KS Orka from Singapore, all submitted first-round bids.

PPC Renewables is aiming for a swift selection procedure and will strive to have signed an agreement with its strategic partner within the current year.

A partnership will be established with the preferred bidder for the development of a geothermal station on Lesbos possessing a capacity of at least 8 MW, while 5-MW stations are planned for each of the other aforementioned geothermal fields.

If upcoming exploration activities – to be conducted independently by PPC Renewables, concurrently with the tender – indicate that greater potential exists, then station capacities will be boosted.

PPC believes that the reluctance, if not outright opposition, of residents on some of the islands to the geothermal plan will be overcome once islanders are fully informed on technological progress made in the sector, preventing environmental impact. Locals revolted back in the 80s when an effort was made to develop a geothermal field on Milos.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, PPC Renewables signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China’s Sumec Group, a member of the China National Machinery Industry Corporation (Sinomach), for collaboration in Greece and the wider Balkan region.

Besides taking on projects in Greece, this agreement could enable the Chinese firm to enter Balkan markets for various projects, including development of wind farms and PV facilities. The first signs of this collaboration may emerge before the end of this year.


PPC Renewables, China’s Sumec Group sign MoU

PPC Renewables, a wholly owned subsidiary of main power utility PPC, and the Sumec Group, a member of the China National Machinery Industry Corporation (Sinomach), whose membership also includes CMEC, signed a Memorandum of Understanding today at the PPC headquarters in Athens.

The MoU concerns the development of renewable energy projects in Greece and the wider region, as well as the provision of energy services, especially in energy efficiency, a domain in which Sumec possesses extensive experience, PPC announced in a statement.

Manolis Panagiotakis, PPC’s chief executive, Ilias Monaholias, the head official at PPC Renewables, and Cai Jibo (photo), the Sumec Group’s president, all took part in the signing ceremony and meeting.

Also in attendance was Liu Huifeng, a representative of Sinosure (China Export & Credit Insurance Co), an investment insurance company.

Sumec officials at the signing ceremony noted that the Chinese company intends to establish Greece as its operating base for the wider region.

Panagiotakis, the PPC boss, highlighted the significance of the collaboration between PPC Renewables and Sumec. He stressed that PPC, the parent company of PPC Renewables, will fully support the initiative, while also hinting at a possible partnership between PPC and Sumec.

PPC Renewables planning two major projects in west Macedonia region

PPC Renewables, a wholly owned subsidiary of main power utility PPC, is planning to develop two of the country’s biggest RES projects, both in northern Greece’s west Macedonia region, according to the company’s head official.

Ilias Monaholias, managing director of PPC Renewables, in a letter contributed to an industry conference beginning in the north today, references two prospective projects planned for development in the region, the first of these being a biomass unit with 25-MW electricity and 45-MW thermal energy capacities. The biomass unit promises to be Greece’s biggest, by far.

Related studies are currently being prepared in cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the company head noted in the letter. PPC Renewables hopes construction of the biomass unit will begin within 2018.

PPC Renewables is currently engaged in talks with local authorities for the establishment of an energy community, based on legal provisions being worked on by the government, including ones covering telethermal needs of Amynteo residents.

The second PPC Renewables project referenced in the letter concerns a major 200-MW photovoltaic park, a revival of an older business plan that has remained stagnant for years.

As was recently reported by energypress, PPC Renewables has asked the energy ministry to offer an exemption that would enable development of this PV facility and connection with the network without needing to stage auctions. Instead, a tariff price would be set by the ministry.

This PV project is already fully licensed and has reserved electricity capacities. PPC Renewables is currently exploring financing options concerning its development.

In his letter provided to the conference, Monaholias, the PPC Renewables chief, also notes that previous PPC and PPC Renewables administrations pursued flawed policies that now require “brave revisions” and government support.

PPC Renewables seeking to develop major PV projects

PPC Renewables, a wholly owned main power utility PPC subsidiary, is planning to join two corporate groups for the development of major photovoltaic parks around Greece with a total capacity of 397 MW.

At the same, PPC Renewables is seeking to revitalize an older plan entailing the development of a 200-MW photovoltaic park in Ptolemaida, northern Greece, PPC chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis announced at a PPC shareholders’ meeting late last week.

Overall, PPC Renewables is striving to develop four major photovoltaic parks with a total capacity of just under 600 MW. The total budget for all four projects is estimated at 420 million euros.

Fast-track procedures for the batch of PV projects totalling 397 MW were initiated in 2011 and 2012.

The assurance of far smaller yet stable tariffs offered through the country’s new legal framework has been pivotal in bringing the old fast-track photovoltaic investment plans back into play again.

Photovoltaic investment plans categorized as fast-track strategic investments in the past do not need to participate in auctions but, instead, are offered steady tariffs.

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has set a tariff measuring 85 percent of a previous price set for a PV pilot auction. As a result, PV producers are being guaranteed a tariff of just under 70 euros per MWh for a 20-year period, which is believed to ensure sustainability for investments.




PPC Renewables eyeing growth prospects in Turkey

The investment prospects of PPC Renewables in the Turkish market and other neighboring countries have been discussed at a series of meeetings involving officials of PPC Renewables, a main power utility PPC subsidiary; the utility’s company development department; PPC Elektrik, the utility’s subsidiary in Turkey; as well as Turkish investors, construction groups, technical and financial consultants.

Potential growth in the wind, photovoltaic, hydropower and geothermal sub-sectors represented a key subject of these talks, PPC Renewables announced.

The renewable energy sector, especially geothermal technology, has experienced rapid growth in Turkey over the past few years.

PPC Elektrik has been a crucial contributor to the sector’s growth in Turkey. In a move aimed at further reinforcing PPC Elektrik’s role in the Turkish market, Ilias Monaholias, managing director of PPC Renewables, has been appointed deputy president of PPC Elektrik’s new administration.

“The aim is to identify the best possible opportunities for investment in renewable energy sources at a time when the development of power plants in Turkey is on the rise. Our main aim is not only the exchange of knowhow, but, especially, the penetration of PPC Renewables into new emerging markets, the strengthening of its portfolio and, by extension, the strengthening of PPC’s investment activity outside Greece,” Monaholias noted. “An ambitious investment plan already exists for the Greek market,” he added.


Geothermal energy development pivotal in PPC Renewables plan

Bad moves by PPC Renewables in the past have limited the company’s RES market share to just 3 percent, Manolis Panagiotakis, chief executive at parent company PPC, the main power utility, has pointed out.

A recently appointed new board at PPC Renewables appears determined to rectify the firm’s faults committed in the past and establish better prospects for the subsidiary.

As was recently reported by energypress, the fresh PPC Renewables board aims to triple the renewable energy firm’s installed capacity over the next three years.

A business plan is currently being worked on to establish a strategic objective that may elevate PPC Renewables as a key player, if not the market leader, in Greece’s RES market, PPC’s chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis recently told Greek Parliament, while stressing the energy sub-sector’s future prospects.

The development of geothermal technology is expected to play a pivotal role, the PPC boss noted, while also pointing out the major prospects in this field for the Cyclades islands and, possibly, further south.

The energy supply model in the region promises to be reshaped, Panagiotakis noted, adding that geothermal technology, combined with other measures, could end the region’s high-cost dependence on fuel, diesel and mazut for electricity generation.

The PPC boss pointed out the utility’s unsuccessful investment of 62 million euros on geothermal technology research in previous decades, while adding that, despite the setback, he remains optimistic on the domain’s prospects for the Cyclades and possibly beyond.

Major foreign corporations, including Enel, Ormat and Mitsubishi, have expressed an interest in helping develop the country’s geothermal energy potential.

PPC Renewables plans to triple its RES portfolio within 3 years

Seeking to boost its earnings potential, the main power utility PPC intends to regain lost ground in the renewable energy sector through subsidiary firm PPC Renewables, the country’s first enterprise that launched RES ventures before eventually losing momentum.

The parent company has mandated PPC Renewables to pursue an ambitious course and triple its installed capacity over the next three years. PPC Renewables already holds a diverse RES portfolio that covers the wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and hydropower sub-sectors.

According to Ilias Monaholias, the chief executive at PPC Renewables, the subsidiary has already begun work with the aim of boosting its RES market presence.

The company strategy includes accelerating the actualization of licensed projects, currently at various stages of development; acquiring exisiting RES projects that are already up and running, especially photovoltaic facilities, as well as licenses in the wind and hydropower domains; and increasing investment activity in foreign markets, either alone or through partnerships.

PPC Renewables intends to leverage company funds amounting to roughly 50 million euros with a bank loan to finance its investment program. The subsidiary is currently engaged in talks with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for a loan worth 115 million euros. It is expected to be endorsed by May. PPC Renewables is also in contact with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and foreign funds.

A plan by the subsidiary to reinvigorate its activity in the geothermal domain will serve as a key factor in the overall RES expansion drive.

PPC Renewables has announced the composition of a consulting team to stage an international tender for research and development of four geothermal fields in Lesvos, Nisyros, Milos and Methana. PPC Renewables holds exclusive research and exploitation rights for all four.

PPC Renewables expects to sign an agreement with the consulting team, comprised of Euroconsultant, Mannvvit and CAMConsultants, within the next few days.

The winning bidder will be expected to establish a joint venture with PPC Renewables for the development of a geothermal station possessing a capacity of at least 8 MW on Lesvos as well as 5-MW facilities at the three other locations. If research to be conducted reveals greater energy potential, then the capacities of these geothermal stations will be increased.