ECONOMY

In Brief

PPC denies CEO intends to resign The Public Power Corporation (PPC) yesterday denied rumors that CEO Panayiotis Athanassopoulos intended to resign.The rumors surfaced after the disruption by union members on Saturday of a board meeting called to discuss a memorandum of understanding with Germany’s RWE. PPC has been seeking partners to help it to expand operations in Greece and the Balkans. Unions oppose plans for cooperation with RWE, which include two new coal-fired power stations, the purchase of two second-hand wind turbines to meet peak summer demand and possible schemes in natural gas and the renewable energy sector. Sources said yesterday the memorandum will be discussed again in about 15 days’ time. Distributors warn country may go short of heating fuel Fuel distributors yesterday warned of the danger of serious shortages in heating fuel if the government persists in its plan to equalize the heating and automotive diesel taxes as of February 15. They called for the measure to be postponed to October. Separately, however, representatives of gas station owners, who would buy the heating fuel taxed, sell it without the tax and then be reimbursed by the government, declared their readiness to contribute to the government’s efforts to fight illegal fuel trading. Athens Medical Private healthcare provider Athens Medical Center said yesterday it will build a new hospital in Bucharest, its second clinic in Romania, as part of its business plan to expand regionally. Athens Medical has operated in the Romanian market for 10 years through its fully owned Medsana Bucharest Medical Center. The new 150-bed clinic will include an intensive care unit, outpatient care and surgical and radiology facilities. The project, budgeted at 24 million euros, will be financed by equity capital and borrowing. (Reuters) Koc eyes energy tenders Koc Holding’s energy business is interested in bidding in a tender to construct and operate two coal-fired power units at one of Turkey’s largest power plants, Koc Energy Group President Erol Memioglu said. Koc is also looking at whether to bid in a tender to construct and operate a nuclear power plant and the group is in talks with both local and foreign companies on cooperate on both projects, Memioglu told Reuters yesterday.«We’re very interested in both projects and we’re talking with both domestic and foreign companies on the subject of a partnership. But whether or not we bid will depend on the contract conditions,» said Memioglu. (Reuters) GDF role in Nabucco Gaz de France, the owner of Europe’s largest natural-gas network, will be «associated» with the Nabucco pipeline project, Romanian President Traian Basescu said, according to an adviser to French President Nicolas Sarkozy who was traveling with him. The 5-billion-euro ($7.4 billion) project – designed to pump gas from the Caspian via Turkey and the Balkans to Austria through 3,300 km (2,051 miles) of pipelines – is led by a consortium of oil and gas companies in transit countries. (Bloomberg)