ECONOMY

Hatzidakis says PPC rescue plan will convince auditors of company’s viability

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Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis on Thursday said he believed an auditor’s report on the second-quarter results of troubled public power utility PPC will deem it viable, following the measures announced by the government and the company to shore up its finances.

“For PPC we have two crucial milestones: The accountant’s report on the company’s viability will be published September 24 and I believe it will be positive. The second is the negotiations with the [European] Commission by the end of October and mid-November over PPC’s medium- to long-term prospects and the electric power market,” he said after a meeting with the leadership of PPC workers union GENOP on Thursday.

The measures include scrapping the so-called NOME auctions, selling a majority stake in Greece’s power distribution agency (DEDDIE), passing legislation to free the company from restrictions placed on state owned enterprises (DEKO) for hirings and commissions, closing of lignite-powered units (Amyndeo I, II and Megalopolis III) and increasing PPC’s investment in renewable energy, in cooperation with private companies.

State-controlled PPC is saddled with more than 2.4 billion euros of arrears from unpaid bills. In June, it reported a net loss of 205 million euros for the first three months of the year versus a loss of 12.6 million euros for the same period last year.

Ernst & Young is expected to publish its report on September 24.