Government set to list power giant PPC

The government has decided to list the giant state electricity monopoly Public Power Corporation (PPC) and sell a 14 percent share to well-known European electricity firms and the public. The plan for PPC’s listing was announced on Saturday by Development Minister Nikos Christodoulakis. According to sources, France’s EDF, Germany’s RVV and Italy’s ENEL will each get a 3-percent share in PPC, with another 5 percent becoming available through a public subscription. The submission of the application to the Athens Stock Exchange will be made in the coming days, said Christodoulakis. PPC’s value is estimated at 1.5 trillion drachmas (4.4 billion euros). Since February 19, when the government partially deregulated its electricity market and removed Public Power Corporation’s electricity generation monopoly, dozens of private companies have received licenses to set up power generating plants, using mainly natural gas and renewable energy sources. Yesterday the Development Ministry awarded 10 licenses for the production and importation of electrical energy by private companies, a total capacity of more than 2,000 megawatts (MW). According to European Union regulations, residential users will have to wait until 2005 to have the right to choose their electricity supplier, as the deregulation to date applies only to major industrial consumers. Greece’s annual power generation does not exceed 12,000 MW, barely meeting demand. With the Athens Olympic Games scheduled for 2004, consumption is expected to surge and Greece hopes to add another 8,000 MW of capacity from the private sector, the energy regulatory authority said recently. Calling the 4.5-percent output target for this year and 4.6 percent for 2002 over-optimistic projections, EFG Eurobank economist Platon Monokroussos said the 4- percent figure contained in the alternative scenario was a more realistic forecast in view of the global risks.

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