Troika pushes for PPC privatization within 2015

The country’s creditor representatives, or troika, are pushing for an acceleration of ongoing privatization procedures at PPC, the Public Power Corporation, and completion within 2015.

The troika contends the market will not open up to competition unless PPC’s privatization plan, comprised of three parts, is carried out. At present, Greek government officials are negotiating revisions and transitional measures with the troika for the country’s wholesale electricity market.

As its first of three steps, PPC’s privatization plan concerns the sale of a 66 percent equity share of subsidiary firm IPTO, Greece’s Independent Power Transmission Operator. According to the plan, it will be followed by the sale of a 30 percent stake in PPC – locally dubbed “Little PPC” – which includes lignite-fired stations, hydropower stations, natural gas-powered stations, mines, as well as consumer contracts. The third stage will involve the sale of a 17 percent equity share in PPC.

Troika officials are pressuring for the third stage to be conducted earlier with the sale of a 17 percent share to a strategic investor.

As dislosed by energypress, the troika officials object to certain transitional measures connected to NOME-type auctions being planned and new CATs (Capacity Availability Tickets). It is believed the creditor representatives, in the current negotiations, are expressing preference for a swifter privatization of PPC rather than transitional measures. This will be more effective in liberalizing Greece’s electricity market, they are contending.

The “Little PPC” part-privatization procedure has encountered various obstacles. A consulting firm to handle the sale has yet to be appointed, but three tender applicants have been shortlisted.

The overall privatization effort at PPC is directly linked to the coalition’s endurance. Current political uncertainty is believed to have affected investor interest.