ECONOMY

ADMIE sell-off to pave way for ‘Small PPC’ project

The plan for the privatization of Public Power Corporation (PPC), without doubt the biggest reform in the Greek energy sector, is entering its final stage. The tender for the sale of the Independent Power Transmission Operator (ADMIE) is under way and despite a delay to the original timetable preliminary investment interest suggests that it will be a success.

There are five suitors for ADMIE, and the shortlist for the next stage of binding offer submissions is about to be drafted. Interest has come from the China State Grid Corporation, Belgium’s network administrator Elia, Italian operator Terna, Canadian fund PSP Investments and the Indian Power Company, the tender’s outsider.

The privatization consultant is currently examining the applications entered by the bidders in order to draft the shortlist, expected in the coming days. The Environment and Energy Ministry is preparing to submit to Parliament an amendment for the extension of the June 30 deadline provided for by the law. Ministry sources attribute the delay in the implementation of the timetable to the May elections.

How the sell-off of ADMIE fares will also determine to a great extent the success of the creation and sale of the so-called “Small PPC,” i.e. the splitting of production capacity and clientele from PPC to form a smaller rival company that will be sold to a private investor. In political and social terms, this project is more sensitive than the sale of the grid.

In order to avoid the bill being rejected by certain members of the government majority in Parliament, the debate for “Small PPC” was postponed until after the May elections and has now been scheduled for the summer session of Parliament in a bid to minimize any problems within the coalition.

Western Macedonia, which according to the bill will provide the company with four lignite units and six mines, is already up in arms, and protest rallies are being planned in Kozani, Florina, Kastoria and Grevena for the day of the parliamentary debate.