ECONOMY

PPC, Hellenic Petroleum, Edison to join forces

ppc-hellenic-petroleum-edison-to-join-forces

Public Power Corporation, Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) and Edison are in negotiations which include the creation of a consortium that could constitute an alternative plan both for the reduction of PPC’s share of the domestic electricity market, as Athens has pledged to its creditors, and for the breaking of the PPC monopoly in lignite production.

The recent statements by PPC head Babis Panayiotakis on cooperation with a third party for the construction of another power plant at Meliti near Florina and the upgrading of the Amyntaio unit are associated with the plan that exists in that direction.

What appears to have been agreed and constitutes the basis of the PPC-ELPE-Edison agreement is the creation of a consortium in which alternative power supplier Elpedison will contribute two natural gas-powered plants at Thisvi and Thessaloniki with a combined capacity of 820 megawatts, while PPC will contribute its existing plant at Meliti and that in Amyntaio.

The stakes in the consortium have also been agreed on, with PPC said to have agreed to have a minority holding so that the plan can secure the approval of the European Commission. For a final agreement to be reached, the parties involved must decide on the Edison demand for PPC to add to the consortium a hydroelectric plant, which PPC vehemently rejects.

Talks, which appear to have the backing of Energy Minister Panos Skourletis, started in October, when Panayiotakis visited the Edison headquarters in Milan. This was followed by a visit to Milan by ELPE chief executive Grigoris Stergioulis.