ECONOMY

Partners hard to come by for PPC

The Development Ministry is concerned about the slow pace at which the Public Power Corporation (PPC) is moving forward with investment in energy plants in cooperation with private investors, fearing that the country’s electricity grid may soon not be able to keep up with demand. Delays in PPC’s investment program regarding the replacement of old power plants with new ones has been slowed by the government’s recent decision to ban the building of any new anthracite-powered plants in an attempt to force the introduction of more environmentally friendly energy production methods. «We will need to see how we can avoid a possible energy shortage and increase investments without delays,» Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis told an energy conference this week. «We believe that PPC can move ahead with more cooperation agreements with private investors in Greece and the Balkans.» PPC has not made any formal announcements in this direction regarding the replacement of aging power units. PPC workers have said they will not accept business initiatives with the private sector on the grounds that it will result in a shrinking market share for PPC. The only agreement the power company has with the private sector is with Halyvourgiki concerning the construction and operation of 880-megawatt natural gas plant. According to market sources, PPC is considering the option of working with the Terna group on building a new lignite plant in Florina. At present, PPC is focusing on implementing its scheduled investments. However, most of these are behind schedule, which has prompted the board to update their operational plans. The construction of a natural gas plant in Aliveri is among the announcements that have already been made by PPC Chief Executive Officer Takis Athanasopoulos. The area where the energy unit is to be built was changed after ancient relics were found on the original site. The issuance of the building permit is expected in the coming days.