PPC chief submits idea for private firms to participate in new plants

A proposal by Public Power Corporation (PPC) President Yiannis Palaiokrassas at a board meeting on Tuesday seems to have derailed the expected approval of a new, natural-gas fired, 300MW power plant in Aliveri, Evia, sources said. Palaiokrassas proposed the participation of private investors in the new plants the utility will build, pre-empting Managing Director Stergios Nezis’s recommendation for Aliveri. The plan and recommendation for the new plant had been based on Law 3175/2003, which allows PPC to replace a total capacity of 1,600MW with new units. The plan had also won the PPC labor union’s approval after tough negotiations with the previous government, in exchange for the corporation’s abstention from tenders for the construction of plants of a total capacity of 900MW which involve private companies. The sources said Palaiokrassas counterproposed that private investors participate in the entire 1,600MW package, and the idea won the same number of votes as Nezis’s plan. The issue has now been deferred to the next session. Palaiokrassas’s proposal bears significant similarity with others aired by private business interests in the past for the breaking up of PPC and the sale of its parts as the most effective way of liberalizing the power market.