BUSINESS

Five embassies signal interest in ‘Small PPC’ bill

By Chryssa Liaggou

Five embassies in Athens have already asked for the translation of a draft law on the break-up of Public Power Corporation, indicating an interest on behalf of investors in the so-called “Small PPC,” which is meant to rival Greece’s electricity giant once it is split into two.

PPC itself values the production portfolio of 2,690 megawatts – to be transferred to the new company – at 1.5-2 billion euros and is anticipating interest mostly from European electricity firms with experience in the operation of coal plants. This category includes Germany’s RWE and EON, which have shown their interest in the local power market in the past but currently face serious cash problems due to a program for the withdrawal of nuclear plants and the drop in demand in the European market. It is no coincidence that the German Embassy was among five to ask for the translation of the bill about “Small PPC.”

The interest expressed by the Italian and French embassies is also unsurprising: Italy’s Edison is already involved in the Greek market through Elpedison, its joint venture with Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), and has made no secret of its interest in PPC. One cannot rule out a bid by ENEL as well, which is active in Greece in the renewable energy sources sector and is pursuing a policy of expansion in the Balkans.

France’s EdF is seen as one of the most robust companies in Europe and controls Edison in Italy. French interest may also come from Gaz De France-Suez that is a partner of local TERNA in the Heron II plant.

What has been more surprising is the interest in the bill from the US and Japanese embassies, with the likeliest scenario concerning a possible investment in local firms involved in power production (ELPE, Mytilineos, Motor Oil, GEK-TERNA and Hellenic Technodomiki), which will probably seek international partners to bid for the “Small PPC.” For local power producers, joining forces with foreign firms is necessary since they cannot come up with the funds needed on their own.

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