Three private concerns have obtained preliminary location approvals for installing power production units, although their implementation and viability prospects remain uncertain due to unclear financial cost factors. Sources say the Energy Regulatory Authority (RAE) intends to introduce proposals for the lifting of financial obstacles which should enable work on the first three units – totaling a capacity of 935 MW – to commence in the summer. The firms which obtained location approvals are Enelco (a consortium of Italy’s ENEL and Kopelouzos group) for a thermoelectric 440 MW plant in Haironia in Boeotia, GEK-Terna for a 250 MW plant also in Boeotia, and the Mytilineos Group for a 245 MW plant in Volos’s industrial park. Sources say another two preliminary location approvals are expected to be granted next month, one more to Enelco for a 440 MW plant in Evros prefecture and one to Alfa-Alfa Holdings for a 390 MW plant in Boeotia. If these firms are not able to secure financing for construction of the plants to begin by summer, and in order to meet the additional projected demand – estimated at 600 MW by 2004 – the Development Ministry will have to assign the Public Power Corporation (PPC) to build one more station. PPC will be forced to comply. The issue is pressing as assignment must be completed by February at the latest. Meanwhile, in the context of efforts to promote the plans for privately operated power stations, RAE recently handed Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos and the Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) its proposals for gas rates in power production. Sources say these are lower than DEPA’s usual rates. -In Arabian Gulf Stasco for 260,000 tons of cargo loading Jan. 26 discharging Far East has fixed M/T «New Circassia» at W/S 35.