Market test for PPC lignite fired plants completed, environment ministry reports

The market test for the sale of the Public Power Corporation’s (PPC) lignite fired power plants has been completed “with absolute success,” the environment and energy ministry announced on Sunday. Fifteen investors expressed interest in acquiring at least one of the plants up for sale (in Florina and Megalopolis), the ministry reported.

“The market test was crowned with absolute success and there was strong investment interest. DG Comp, taking into account the replies it received, arrived at observations of a technical nature, of which it notified the Greek side in the previous days. These have already been discussed and there was a final agreement, on the basis of which the government will legislate,” Environment and Energy Minister George Stathakis said.

During the market test conducted by the European Commission’s DG Comp, participants were asked to fill a questionnaire outlining the extent to which the plants to be divested were economically sustainable and attractive as investments.

The main points emerging, according to the ministry, were that the plant and the licence for a new unit in the Melitis area and two plants in Megalopolis, which are up for divestment, were judged “completely satisfactory” and no reason was found to amend this dossier, with 15 investors expressing interest in acquiring at least one of these.

The ministry also repeated that there were no plans to sell PPC’s hydroelectric or natural gas fired power plants and that compliance with the European Court decision and the agreement with the lenders on lignite fired plants meant PPC will retain ownership of 78.6 pct of its lignite fired plants in the short-term (next decade), 68 pct in the medium-term (until 2026) and 65 pct in the long term (average period 2018-35).

It also noted that PPC will be able to manage the plants that remain under its control without any constraint and that jobs at the plants divested will be completed protected.

The ministry also pointed to an express reference in the agreement to a “fair price through open international tender, to be conducted by PPC” and noted that the interests of the company and its shareholders – and by extension the Greek state – were thus fully protected.