ECONOMY

EDF links with Greek firms for power move

French state-owned energy group Electricite de France (EDF), Hellenic Energy and Development (HE&D SA) and Phosphoric Fertilizers Industry (PFI) said yesterday that they have applied to the Energy Regulatory Authority for a power generation license in Kavala. Powered by natural gas, the plant is expected to have a capacity of 440 MW and will be located at PFI’s factory in the northern Greek city. The partners did not disclose details on the size of their venture. Since the partial deregulation of the electricity market on February 19, the regulatory body has received hundreds of applications from companies for power generation licenses, principally to meet their own energy needs. EDF’s first-time foray into the Greek market underscores its strategy of building up a network of interests across the continent. The tactic has met with substantial success, as the company remains largely protected in its domestic market. EDF’s attempted takeover of Italian industrial group Montedison in the summer, however, created a storm in Italy due to its protected status at home. It prompted the European Commission to launch an investigation into the case. This was subsequently shelved after the commission declared that the takeover of Montedison was by Italenergia, a consortium of Italian auto manufacturer Fiat and EDF. The French group’s controversial takeover of Spanish energy group Hidrocantabrico has yet to receive a ruling by Brussels. EDF plans to generate half of its total group revenues from its operations abroad by 2005. Gross revenues last year amounted to 30 billion euros. HE&D is an investment company specializing in power projects. Stakeholders include telecommunications and informatics group intracom and construction companies Hellenic Technodomiki and Aktor. PFI has two plants producing fertilizers and other chemical products which are distributed locally and abroad. Commercial Bank, National Bank and Alpha Bank hold the majority stake in the company.