Electricity partners for Hellenic Petroleum

Oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) said yesterday it has signed French energy company Tractebel and Greek construction firm Aegek as its partners in its proposed electricity generation venture in Thessaloniki. Along with a slew of other companies, ELPE acquired a permit to set up a power generation plant last year, following the partial deregulation of the domestic electricity market on February 19. Faced with falling refinery margins and fluctuating oil prices, the oil refiner has in recent years indicated its desire to diversify its operations. Last month it announced plans to venture into upstream activities as well. The three companies also agreed to look into the possibilities of joint ventures in the electricity and gas sectors, both in Greece and in neighboring countries. The gas-fired combined-cycle co-generation plant in Thessaloniki will have a capacity of 390 MW. It is expected to come online in 2004, supplying electricity and steam to ELPE, industrial customers and the national electricity grid. ELPE and Aegek also have stakes in the Okta oil refinery in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), which reported declining sales last year due to lower domestic demand. The construction company owns 37 percent of ELPE Balkans, the majority-owner of the FYROM refinery. Aegek is currently constructing ELPE’s pipeline to carry crude oil from northern Greece to the Okta refinery. The project is scheduled to be completed this year. Tractebel, a subsidiary of French utilities group Suez Lyonnais des Eaux, is active in electricity generation and energy trading. It currently manages installed generating capacity of more than 50,000 MW, making it one of the largest electricity generators in Europe. It has power production plants in Portugal, Italy, Hungary and Poland. ELPE yesterday also inaugurated its polypropylene plant in Thessaloniki, built at a cost of 52 billion drachmas (152 million euros). The refiner said the utility, which has a capacity of 180,000 tons annually, will replace yearly imports of 70,000 tons and even generate enough for exports to neighboring countries. It is also expected to boost the value of petrochemicals operations by $120 million a year. Turkey’s lira currency has lost around half its value against the dollar since the crisis struck in February last year and Akpinar said the company, with debt and infrastructure expenses in foreign currency, was still trying to catch up. Turkcell has slashed capital expenditure to $197 million in 2001 from just under $1 billion the year before in a bid to hold down costs and manage end-2001 total debt of $1.64 billion.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.