Three investors interested in Amynteo facility upgrade

Three investors have expressed an interest to environmentally upgrade the main power utility PPC’s 600-MW Amynteo lignite-fired power station, until recently regarded as an ageing, discarded unit of limited lifespan and potential, energypress has been informed.

The Copelouzos corporate group, joined by China’s Shenhua, is believed to have emerged first to express an interest in the upgrade project in exchange for a majority share in the venture to sell its electricity output to the grid.

In addition, a representative of an unnamed major local energy group is also believed to have forwarded a specific proposal concerning the utilization of state-controlled PPC’s Amynteo power station to the utility’s CEO Manolis Panagiotakis and energy minister Giorgos Stathakis. This expression of interest was apparently made a few months ago, well ahead of the recent finalization of a list of PPC lignite units to be included in a bailout-required sale package.

An intention by PPC to have Amynteo included in this sale package was stopped by the lenders as a result of the facility’s limited lifespan – in its current condition.

A third proposal was apparently forwarded by an energy-intensive industrial producer interested in upgrading the Amynteo power station in exchange for favorably priced electricity supply to its facilities. A fellow industrial producer may also be involved in this initiative.

This third proposal is believed to have resulted from a recent appeal by Panagiotakis, the PPC boss, to the industrial sector, urging its players to capitalize on the developments and secure reliable, competitively priced electricity.

Panagiotakis, presenting his thoughts at a recent American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce conference, invited investors to take part in an upcoming market test for the sale package of PPC lignite units, representing 40 percent of the utility’s total lignite capacity, as well as environmental upgrades of ageing units not included in the sale, in exchange for favorably priced electricity supply deals.

For quite some time now, PPC’s administration has turned to the private sector in search of capital for the environmental upgrades of old units as the utility’s coffers are currently unable to cover the cost of such investments.

The purported cost of the Amynteo power station’s environmental upgrade, as well as the stabilization of the area’s mine affected by a landslide last June, has varied. Some authorities estimate both projects, combined, could require 200 million euros.  investments.

It remains unclear what percentage of Amynteo PPC could retain if negotiations with investors proceed.