ECONOMY

Chinese and Italians interested in ADMIE sell-off

The privatization of Greece’s Independent Power Transmission Operator (ADMIE) will be completed in one single stage and will secure the state’s participation at 34 percent, according to a draft law put forward for public consultation by the Development Ministry on Tuesday.

The price that the state will have to pay for its 34 percent stake will be determined by the amount of the final offer from the private investor that will acquire the remaining 66 percent. The payment for the state’s holding will be offset by the various debts that owner Public Power Corporation (PPC) has to the state, with the bulk of it concerning the charges to be imposed for the concession of the utilization of the lignite reserves, as provided for by the Mining Law.

The tender for the private investor to buy the controlling stake will be launched in January and ADMIE’s transfer will be concluded in the second quarter of the year. The bill will change the original sell-off plan approved by the Cabinet on July 24, which foresaw a two-stage tender.

The state’s control over ADMIE will be conceded to another public body, but not PPC or any other corporation connected to activities in the electricity or natural gas production or supply sectors.

The draft law also concedes to the ministers of finance and energy the jurisdiction for amending PPC’s restructuring and privatization plan as approved by a cabinet act, in addition to the existing timetable. It further regulates technical issues regarding ADMIE’s privatization as well as PPC’s obligation to supply data and information on ADMIE to any investors interested in it.

Along with the drafting of the bill, the government has initiated contacts with parties interested in ADMIE. Sources say that the Chinese State Grid (SGCC), the biggest network company in the Asian country, and Italian power transmission operator Terna are in contact with the government. Terna is interested in creating a broader network in the Balkans. The Chinese are offering a high price, and the government is in talks with Terna for an improved offer, according to the same sources.