ECONOMY

Private investors for power

The Development Ministry will try to introduce new players to electricity production in order to overcome delays in the creation of the plants required to cover demand in the next few years. Within this context, the investment program planned two years ago by the Public Power Corporation (PPC), which has practically fallen apart and would have provided for the construction of six production units with a total output of 3,700 megawatts, has now been redesigned. The aim now is to build new plants in partnership with private investors. A second Meliti plant will likely be the test of the entire project, as its construction will be allocated to a consortium of which 51 percent will belong to PPC. A top official in the ministry suggested that in the next few days Minister Costis Hatzidakis may well take a personal initiative in this direction. During a recent conference, Hatzidakis actually said: «We believe that even more partnerships between PPC and private investors can proceed both here in Greece and in the Balkans.» The need for a redrafting of the strategy has not only stemmed from the ban on the use of coal. The global financial crisis has severely reduced electricity demand, limiting the expectations of local and foreign investors who had begun ambitious investment programs. At the same time, the interventions of the last few years in the PPC networks and in energy saving have made a decisive contribution toward reducing energy loss, reducing demand even further, while the drop in fuel prices has sent the arbitrary price at which PPC buys power to very low levels, further driving investors away.