ECONOMY

PPC loses another battle

The clash between the Public Power Corporation (PPC) and Aluminium of Greece (AoG) is showing no sign of abatement. On Thursday an Athens court deferred an injunction case filed by AoG against PPC until June 2009, which effectively perpetuates the transitional status of electricity supply by Aluminium of Greece. The company argued that a temporary injunction decision would be tantamount to a return to the validity of the «colonial contract» in force since 1960, which expired in August 2006. After the positive opinion of the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) on February 14 regarding AoG’s petition to have its electricity producing plant characterized as «self-producer/co-producer,» which allowed the company to sell electrical energy to the country’s power grid, the new decision in effect adopts another request by the Mytilineos group subsidiary. Legal sources suggested that the group has a policy aimed at securing a low cost for AoG through court decisions, while the competent regulatory authorities do not make such decisions. Mytilineos has also submitted a demand for the supply of electricity by AoG at a competitive price compared with that at which other companies in the sector are supplied in the international market. In its opinion RAE has not accepted this demand or the Mytilineos arguments, but has opted for the inclusion of the plant in a tariff which will be liberalized as of July 2008. Developments show that the Mytilineos group will try by all means possible to secure a low rate for the electricity supply of AoG. It has also posed the issue with the competent authorities and the government in the form of a dilemma: «Low rates or closure for Aluminium of Greece, which employs 1,600 people.»