ECONOMY

Interests converge on energy

The course of the major deals in the local energy sector does not seem to have been affected by the general elections called for next month. On the key issues related to long-term energy planning, the policies of the two major parties, ruling New Democracy and main opposition PASOK, largely converge. The two parties have a common stance on nuclear energy and coal as well as renewable energy sources. Hence the main business choices in the sector are fairly clear cut. Though there might be new developments in the case of lignite if there is a change of government, last week’s news regarding the tender for the Vevi mines near Florina, northwestern Greece, along with relevant European Commission decisions will likely bind any government to emerge from the October 4 elections. The joint venture comprising GEK TERNA, Aktor and Horizon, formed to be awarded the right to operate the Vevi mines, as revealed last Friday, and even the consortium’s possible expansion, according to sources, are indicative of the need to complete the process regardless of the snap poll. In fact, this marks the first time that business interests of this magnitude which were previously hostile to one another have joined forces under the same umbrella. As a result, this second tender for Vevi appears to be much closer to a successful outcome than the first one, which bore no fruit after three long years. Other bidders this time include the Hellenic Petroleum group through Elpedison, the Vardinoyiannis group through ELMIN and the Emfietzoglou group through Michaniki.