Environment and Energy minister Kostis Chatzidakis presented measures to rescue the Public Power Corporation (PPC) in Parliament, during a three-day debate on the new government’s policy statements on Monday, that include the partial privatization of the distribution network operator.
The measures for the troubled public utility, he said, include abolishing the lignite and hydroelectric production auction which he said cost the company 600 million euros and forced PPC to sell energy below cost; negotiations to increase the company’s share in the market, instead of a year-end target to reduce it to 50 pct; collecting outstanding fees owed the company for services rendered in past years; and a turn to renewable energy sources (RES), raising the current share PPC has in the market (2.9 pct), a ratio he termed shameful.
He also said that the government would offer targeted retirement packages to staff of PPC, the country’s largest energy provider; collect outstanding debt by strategic defaulters; and change pricing, which will not affect consumers because of counterbalances related to a lower VAT and a lower fee for RESs.
In addition, the basic distribution fee would be transferred from PPC to the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator (DEDDIE) and then partially privatize DEDDIE, by attracting reliable investors specializing in networks. “This will bring forth DEDDIE’s hidden value and provide PPC with a clear revenue benefit from its (DEDDIE’s) privatization,” Chatzidakis said.