ECONOMY

Greener power for PPC plants

State-controlled Public Power Corporation (PPC) will be required to drop plans to build anthracite-powered plants and will be obliged to switch to more environmentally friendly methods, Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis said yesterday. In his first press conference since taking over the at helm of the ministry, Hatzidakis announced that Greece’s power company, PPC, will be required to switch from planned anthracite plants – also know as hard coal power plants (HCPP) – to natural gas or other forms of renewable energy. «We will discuss the alternatives immediately with the (state’s) Energy Planning Committee,» he told reporters. The news is not seen having a great impact on PPC’s investment plans, according to brokers. «The exclusion of HCPP from Greece’s electricity generation mix is not surprising given the strong opposition from local communities,» said Proton Research in a broker note. Shares in PPC added 0.31 percent to close at 13 euros yesterday, outperforming a 0.29 percent slide in the broader market. Hatzidakis also said that PPC, 51 percent-owned by the government, will not up electricity tariffs this year. «Due to the economic crisis, 2009 will not be a year in which PPC increases its prices,» said the minister. Last year, when oil prices spiked to record highs, PPC was given permission to apply a surcharge as of January 1, 2009. But in late December, Greece decided to delay implementation of the fuel surcharge for at least a year. The Development Ministry, which oversees PPC, attributed the decision to falling oil prices, the global economic crisis and citizens’ anxiety about making ends meet. PPC subsidiary PPC Renewables also announced yesterday it will invest 60 million euros in nine wind parks, producing 35.1 megawatts of power. Crete and Samos will each get two wind parks while Paros, Lesvos, Rhodes, Sifnos and Lemnos will get one apiece. The projects are scheduled for completion in the next 24 months.