Greece’s biggest electricity supplier, Public Power Corp. (PPC), has received six expressions of interest (EoIs) for its coal-fired power stations in Florina and Megalopolis.
The state-run utility is required to sell the assets under a verdict by an EU court that it had abused its dominant position on the Greek coal market.
Investors had until June 21 to submit EoIs for the 330-MW Meliti-1 and yet-to-be-built Meliti-2 plants in Florina, along with two more units in Megalopolis with 850 MW of capacity. The assets together account for around 40% of PPC’s coal-fired generation capacity.
Damco Energy, a subsidiary of Greece’s Copelouzos Group, teamed up with China’s Beijing Guohua Power to file an EoI for the plants. Also in the running are Greek industry groups GEK Terna, ElvalHalco and Mytilineos Holdings, along with Czech energy investors Energeticky Prumyslovy Holdings (EPH) and Indoverse Coal Investments.
PPC has hired PwC and HSBC as consultants on the sale. They will evaluate the submissions and report their conclusions to the company’s management. A shortlist of investors will be drawn up and a final decision will be made by PPC’s governing board.
The European Commission issued rulings in 2008 and 2009 stating that PPC would need to sell some assets in order to open up Greece’s coal sector to competition. An EU court rejected PPC’s appeal against these decisions in 2016.
Athens has been in talks with the Commission over which plants should be sold since July last year. PPC’s management was keen to divest less profitable plants with smaller output, while Brussels wanted to see assets offered up that would attract investor interest.
The sale of PPC assets will also help Greece meet the terms of its international bailout agreements. Athens aims to raise 2 billion euros (US$2.4 billion) from the privatisation of state assets this year. Majority interests in national oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum and gas pipeline operator DESFA have been marked for sale, along with smaller shares in Athens International Airport and the Athens and Thessaloniki water utilities, EYDAP and EYATH. The Greek government controls a 51% stake in PPC.