ECONOMY

PPC to sell up to 49 pct of network

Greece plans to sell to investors up to 49 percent of power company PPC?s transmission operations as part of plans to deregulate the energy market.

According to a draft bill submitted to a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday by Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Tina Birbili, PPC will set up a 100 percent owned subsidiary, called ADESMIE, which will run and own the company?s energy transmission assets.

PPC, 51 percent owned by the state, will be able to sell off a minority stake of ADESMIE to private investors that aren?t involved in generating or supplying power in order to boost the company?s capital and support investments in its ten year development plan, the draft bill added.

The decision was a pleasant surprise for private investors and an unpleasant one for PPC?s union group since neither of the two parties had been previously informed of the ministry?s decision.

All parties involved recognise the fact that the decision is the first step regarding the privatization of the network, worth around 1.7 billion euros.

PPC?s transmission network is a new market for Europe?s grid operators and an appealing one, according to market sources, due to charges on the Greek network being among the highest in Europe.

Another feature making the network more attractive to investors is its ability to be hooked up with the neighbouring Turkish grid.

The draft bill added that ADESMIE will have complete control of the network while also being responsible for maintaining and developing it.

Additionally, ADESMIE will absorb DESMIE, the country?s state-owned power grid operator, the draft bill said.