BUSINESS

Fast-track process for next PPC plant tender started on Friday

CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

TAGS: Energy, Privatizations

The tender process for the concession of four lignite-fired electricity plants belonging to Public Power Corporation began on Friday. It will be fast-tracked as determined by an amendment tabled in Parliament as part of another Energy Ministry bill approved on Thursday.

PPC uploaded the proclamation on its website on Friday, inviting former and new interested parties to express their investment intention.

PPC chief Manolis Panagiotakis stated on Thursday that interested investors will have to declare their participation by March 19. A 20-day period of consultation with the investors will follow on the terms of the sale and purchase agreement (SPA) so that it is definitively ready by April 20.

After that, interested parties will have five to six days to submit their binding offers, and by May 5 to 8 the preferred bidder will have been announced.

Panagiotakis described the timetable as extremely tight and suggested that the ministry’s regulations are leading the concession of the units at Meliti and Megalopoli to a fire sale.

“The sale of the units is one thing, the zero benefit or even losses for the corporation is quite another. Nobody wants us to sell [the plants] without at least reflecting a share of their value,” he said.

The PPC chief referred to efforts to ensure that the tender will be successful this time, revealing that after his recent trip to China to revive the interest of Chinese companies he will next travel to Brussels for contacts with the European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition (DG Comp).

He warned that it will be DG Comp’s fault if the tender fails and not PPC’s.

Meanwhile, the Consumers’ Ombudsman said PPC’s imposition on Thursday of a 1-euro charge on every paper bill it sends to its consumers is an unfair practice that in many ways violates legislation on the protection of consumers.

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