BUSINESS

German funds to go to Ptolemaida V plant

More than half of the funding for the construction of Public Power Corporation?s new lignite unit at Ptolemaida, western Macedonia, will come from Germany, paving the way for the Greek power utility to find the rest of the capital required for the project.

The fifth plant at Ptolemaida, known as Ptolemaida V, will have a generating capacity of 660 megawatts, and 60 percent of its funding will come from German investment bank KfW, the latter informed PPC?s governing board in a meeting on Monday.

After receiving approval from the German export credit agency Hermes, KfW will fund the consortium that has undertaken the construction of the plant with 700 million euros, according to sources.

The project is budgeted at 1.32 billion euros and after a tender it was conceded to the consortium of Greek company TERNA SA with Germany?s Babcock, which has been bought out by Hitachi. The subcontractors are Hitachi Power Europe GmbH, Hitachi Ltd of Japan and Hamon Environmental GmbH. The participation of German companies and the use of German equipment for the construction of the project are directly linked to its funding with German capital and the insurance of that credit by the German state.

In its meeting on Monday, the PPC board authorized the chairman and chief executive officer of the corporation to inform the Greek Parliament, as the law dictates, so that PPC can then sign the contract with the consortium.

It is estimated that with such a significant share of the investment already covered at this stage, it will be far easier for PPC to secure the rest of the funds required for the implementation of this project in the prefecture of Kozani.

The PPC employees? powerful union GENOP expressed particular satisfaction with the development, stressing in a statement on Monday that Ptolemaida V is a plant that will make a significant contribution to the country?s energy balance, as well as the security of energy supply, and to the prefectures of Kozani and Florina in general.

According to sources, PPC?s board also decided at the Monday meeting to take judicial action to claim outstanding debts owed by Aluminium of Greece and Larco. PPC data show that AoG?s dues amount to 100 million euros, and those of Larco 95 million. Financial prosecutor Grigoris Peponis has also called for a preliminary investigation into the debts owed to PPC by the Mytilineos Group.

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