PPC lignite sale list seems near, leading EC officials to visit

Upcoming concurrent visits to Athens by two leading European Commission officials have raised speculation of a finalized plan for the main power utility PPC’s bailout-required sale of lignite units representing 40 percent of the utility’s lignite capacity.

Two leading European Commission officials, Maros Sefcovic, vice president responsible for Energy Union, and Dominique Ristori, director-geneal of the Directorate-General for Energy, will both in Athens at the same time.

It is believed that a finalized plan detailing the content of PPC’s lignite sale package could be endorsed today during an Athens-Brussels teleconference, currently being held almost on a daily basis. An announcement is possible today or tomorrow.

Officially, Sefcovic’s visit is being presented as part of the official’s second tour of European capitals for matters concerning Energy Union. Ristori, on the other hand, is heading energy-sector bailout negotiations.

Besides PPC’s Meliti unit, Megalopoli III and IV are also expected to be included on the finalized PPC sale list, which will undergo a market test, measuring the level of investor interest, this month.

Finalization of PPC’s sale list would complete the most fundamental part of Greece’s energy-sector negotiations with the counry’s lenders.

Sefcovic, during his Athens visit, is scheduled to meet with energy minister Giorgos Stathakis to discuss Energy Union issues, including an implementation package. It includes aspects concerning supply security; creation of regional markets; promotion of interconnection and pipeline projects; a long-term energy plan; incorporation of more RES units into electricity systems; as well as a decarbonization strategy. The further liberalization of energy markets is also on Sefcovic’s agenda.

Besides the energy minister, Sefcovic is also scheduled to meet with main opposition New Democracy party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis.