PPC sees openings abroad

Main electricity utility Public Power Corporation (PPC) said yesterday it is looking into investment opportunities in Southeast Europe’s electricity market, as ex-communist states try to upgrade their systems. «We are talking about a huge-scale market in need of major investments in the energy domain,» PPC CEO Dimitris Maniatakis told an economic conference. «The population of the countries of Southeastern Europe, along with the population of neighboring EU member states, goes over 430 million people.» The need to modernize a system with a power potential that exceeds 380 billion kilowatts will require substantial funds, he said. «It is estimated that modernization investments required for the energy potential of countries in Southeastern Europe will exceed 20 billion euros ($25.45 billion) within the next few years,» Maniatakis said. Under the Energy Community Treaty, which came into force in July, Balkan countries also have to comply with EU legislation regarding electricity market liberalization and are also candidates for EU funding. In May, PPC set up a holding company with energy firm ContourGlobal LLC to explore buyout opportunities in the region. (Reuters)