Talks on lignite plants to end this month

Talks on lignite plants to end this month

Greece and the European Union are expected to wrap up talks on which coal-fired plants the country will put up for sale in line with an EU court ruling this month, Greek Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis has said.

Greece and its international lenders have agreed that Public Power Corporation, which is 51 percent owned by the state, will sell plants equal to about 40 percent of its coal-fired capacity after a European court ruled that the utility had abused its dominant position in the coal market.

Stathakis met PPC’s largest labor union on Wednesday and said talks with the EU’s competition authorities were ongoing and were seen concluding in the next couple of weeks. “Our aim is to find common ground,” he said, according to a statement from the Energy Ministry.

Athens and the European Commission have been in talks since July, trying to define which plants will be put up for sale.

Greece is keen to divest plants that will not significantly reduce PPC’s generation capacity. The EU wants to ensure that the plants will attract investor interest.

Under its latest bailout, Greece also needs to cut PPC’s share of the retail market to below 50 percent from 88 percent by the end of 2019.


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