BUSINESS

Energy-intensive industries are teaming up to bid for Meliti plant

CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

TAGS: Energy, Privatizations

A number of energy-intensive industries are planning to join forces for the acquisition of the Public Power Corporation’s coal-fired unit at Meliti in western Macedonia.

Along with ElvalHalcor, which is participating in the tender for the sale by PPC of the four units at Megalopoli and Meliti, there are five other energy-intensive industries which have pooled together to submit a joint bid for Meliti. They are textile firm Epilektos, MEL paper mills, steelmaker Hellenic Halyvourgia, and cement giants Titan and AGET Iraklis.

Discussions between the six companies began upon the initiative of ElvalHalcor and depend on the shared permanent demand for the reduction of energy costs in Greece. Interest therefore is not related to any investment plans to enter electricity production, but rather to the chance to bring down energy costs that the PPC divestment offers. This is also why there also are talks for cooperation with other energy groups in the tender, such as Mytilineos, GEK Terna and the Copelouzos Group’s Damco Energy.

Sources say the ElvalHalcor-led consortium’s common investment plan has already been shared with the government and PPC. The latter’s management had notably issued a call to the energy-intensive industries to that effect during the previous tender, but without response.

Talks with the interested firms as well as the other bidders from the energy sector will, according to ElvalHalcor sources, depend on two factors: The first concerns the Meliti plant’s lignite supply and the second the cost of carbon dioxide emissions.

Although PPC last week announced its agreement with the Achlada Lignite Mines for the supply of lignite at a rate of 16.5 euros per ton for the period from 2020 to 2024, the industry and the energy players remain reserved about the content of the deal.

“Issues such as the quantities mentioned in the new contract and the guarantees provided by Achlada Mines regarding the uninterrupted supply of the unit are crucial for us to do the maths and see if the accounts add up,” a representative of the investors tells Kathimerini.

Regarding CO2 emissions, the plan drafted by ElvalHalcor notes that if the cost rises above 30 euros/ton, Meliti will turn loss-making. The price has already reached 28 euros/ton this week.

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