ECONOMY

PPC turns to renewable energy

Public Power Corporation (PPC), the country’s former electricity monopoly, wants to significantly expand its participation in power generation through renewable energy sources. To promote its plan, which includes the building of installations generating 1,640 megawatts of electricity by 2014 by investing 1.6 billion euros, PPC will restructure its subsidiary, PPC Renewable Energy Sources SA. Besides the subsidiary, PPC now has departments dealing separately with renewable energy sources, such as the Directorate for Alternative Energies (DEME), through which it first ventured into wind power in 1982. PPC’s board is set to approve tomorrow DEME’s integration into PPC Renewable Energy Sources. DEME’s assets were valued at 120 million euros, about 1 percent of PPC’s total. PPC had not, in recent years, given priority to renewable energy sources. As a result, its share in that market barely exceeds 10 percent, mostly due to past hydroelectric power projects. PPC Renewable Energy Sources has also established four joint ventures with private firms, three of which are concerned with the implementation of minor hydroelectric projects and the fourth, with listed firm Rokas, operates two wind farms, on the islands of Kos and Leros, with a capacity of 4.2 MW each. PPC wants to achieve a 23 percent share in the renewable energy sources production market by 2014. To this end, it is already looking into joint ventures with domestic or foreign companies. PPC’s other major project, besides renewable energy, is its expansion into Southeast Europe, jointly with US company Contour Global. Costas Panoutsopoulos, head of the joint company set up with Contour Global in July, briefed the PPC board on the two projects which currently interest PPC in the Balkans but which have hit snags. The first, the acquisition of the Bobov Dol power plant in Bulgaria, is on hold due to a decision by the Bulgarian government to tighten environmental standards while negotiations for the plant’s privatization were under way. PPC is lobbying for Bulgaria to rescind its decision.