Reports: DG Comp, Athens agree to sell-off of 40% of power utility's lignite-fired capacity

Friday, 24 November 2017 18:47

By K. Deligiannis

Negotiations between the EU's competition watchdog, DG Comp, and representatives of Greece's energy ministry regarding the sell-off of 40 percent of the Public Power Corp.'s (PPC) lignite-fired power production reportedly concluded with an agreement on Thursday.

The Commission's competition authority has long pressed for a reduction in state-run PPC's dominant power production and market share position in the country, in a bid to further liberalize the electricity market in the country. This target has also emerged as a memorandum obligation towards creditors.

According to information out of Brussels, the last details in the agreement were ironed out in talks. The draft agreement will be presented to creditors' auditors when they return to Athens next week.

The same reports claim that DG Comp officials accepted a request by the Greek side to guarantee 32,000 hours of operation at the lignite-fired power stations at the Amynteo site, northern Greece. These units, according to the same information, will not be included in a portfolio of PPC units up for sale.

The Greek government has requested the 32,000-hour exception in order to guarantee power supplies to the internal market.

With the Amynteo units excluded from the mandatory liberalization, the PPC units up for sale will be Meliti I, outside the extreme northwestern city of Florina, a license for a second unit at the same site, Megalopolis III, in the central Peloponnese of southern Greece, along with its sister unit, Megalopolis IV.

A finalization of the agreement will open the way for a market test, with the relevant energy minister, Giorgos Stathakis, on Thursday telling a participants at a conference in Athens that the goal for concluding the entire sale process remains June 2018.

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