PPC board to meet on RWE deal

Electricity utility Public Power Corporation’s (PPC) board will discuss a cooperation deal with Germany’s RWE next week, the company said yesterday, ending months of delays caused by protesting unions. PPC has been seeking partnerships to help modernize its operations and expand in Southeast Europe to offset a drop in domestic market share since the country liberalized its energy sector last year under EU guidelines. PPC has entered into talks with RWE to expand its business in Greece and the Balkans. But an agreement has yet to be finalized due to union opposition, which has halted board meetings called to sign off on the deal. «At the next board of directors meeting, we will discuss a new memorandum of understanding with RWE,» Chief Executive Takis Athanassopoulos told reporters. The board is scheduled to meet April 22. The agreement will focus on the setting up of a joint venture, which will build a 500-800 MW coal-powered plant in Albania, Athanassopoulos said. RWE would hold 51 percent of the company and PPC 39 percent, while Greek cement company Titan, already active in Albania, would have a 10 percent stake. PPC and RWE will also discuss the possibility of cooperating in the field of natural gas, and also touch on the development of wind parks, jointly with PPC’s renewable energy subsidiary. Workers at the Greek company have held continued protests over the proposed deal, fearing it will lead to a further privatization of the former state-run monopoly and job cuts. The company’s board last month signed off on a MOU with Greek steel producer Halyvourgiki for joint operation of an 880 MW natural gas-fired plant. (Reuters)

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