Market test set to determine the course of PPC plant privatization

The agreement for the sale of lignite-fired power plants owned by Public Power Corporation was sealed last Thursday in Brussels, and the government’s next challenge on the matter is attracting investment interest, otherwise it will have to sell hydroelectric units too – its last line of defense in the controversial issue of reducing PPC’s lignite capacity.

Although Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis is optimistic about the outcome of next month’s market test, there is no sign from investors in that direction. People active in the domestic power market appear certain about the opposite – that the failure of the market test will bring them closer to their goal of entering the hydroelectric market.

Domestic investors start from the view that “lignite as a form of fuel is not productive” in the context of European Union’s policy to reduce carbon emissions, and go as far as saying they will abstain from the December market test, which is intended to gauge investor interest in the plants to be privatized.

Given that this will constitute a major shift in the domestic power market, and until the issues regarding the sale of the plants become clear, investors will keep monitoring developments and no one can rule out a change in their attitude.

Speaking to local investors, one gleans a variety of positions on the matter. The most emphatic attitude comes from Italy’s Edison, which cooperates with Hellenic Petroleum through Elpedison in electricity production: Edison sources say the firm is not interested in investing in lignite units and expect that other investors have a similar attitude.

The mind-set is similar at Hellenic Petroleum, with a source telling Kathimerini that “the EU policies on coal render the acquisition of lignite units a negative investment,” adding that the participation of a European investor in the market test would come as a surprise. Mytilineos sources echo the same view, adding the firm will not take part in the tests.

However, Terna does seem interested in the sale of the PPC lignite plants, while Copelouzos appears to be in two minds about it, having previously shown an interest in cooperation with China’s Shenhua. Sources say the Chinese interest in the Greek lignite plants has diminished.

 

source: http://www.ekathimerini.com,  by Chryssa Liaggou,  26/11/2017

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Exxon confirms interest in Greece

ExxonMobil’s interest in Greek hydrocarbons was confirmed in meetings on Friday that representatives of the oil multinational had in Athens with Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) and leading Greek government officials.

Representatives of France’s Total, which is ELPE’s partner in the concession of Block 2 in the Ionian Sea, also attended the meetings with ELPE, Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis and Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis.

ExxonMobil officials had traveled to Athens to confirm their participation in the Ionian concessions through acquiring a stake in ELPE, and also to sign a strategic cooperation agreement for a joint claim on other areas of the country that could hold large quantities of hydrocarbons, with the sea off Crete being a priority.

The US oil giant appears to have already reached an agreement with ELPE and Total, and its objective on Friday was to sound out the government regarding its support for the program to utilize the country’s hydrocarbon reserves, which is vital for ExxonMobil before it advances to the agreement-signing stage.

Sources say ExxonMobil will expand its plans to creating a joint venture with ELPE – with the US firm acting as the operator – through which other possible blocks will be targeted.

source: Chryssa Laggou,  ekathimerini.com

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Eni renews deal for oil, gas search off Cyprus

The Cypriot government has renewed an agreement with Italian energy company Eni and its South Korean partner KOGAS to search for oil and gas in waters off the Mediterranean island’s southern coast.

Eni said in August that it discovered off Egypt’s coast what it called the biggest gas field ever found in the Mediterranean Sea. Cyprus Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said Eni’s license to search in three areas has been extended to February 2018.

He stated after a cabinet meeting on Monday that exploratory drilling could begin sometime in 2017, but a consortium study is still in its preliminary stage.

Earlier this month, French energy company Total also renewed its license to search for oil and gas off Cyprus for two more years.

[AP]

source: ekathimerini.com/business

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Greek Energy Minister Rules Out Privatization of Independent Power Transmission Operator

Greek Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panos ruled out the privatization of Greece’s Independent Power Transmission Operator (ADMIE) and stressed that the company will remain under state control, ensuring equal access to all energy producers.

Negotiations between Skourletis’ Ministry and Greece’s creditors’ representatives are due to begin on Wednesday and mainly focus on ADMIE’s privatization and other energy market issues.

Based on the Euro Summit decision, ADMIE must either be privatized or alternative measures must be found that have an equivalent result for competition.

In statements after meeting with the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) leadership, Skourletis said developments are leading to elections within the year, once an agreement with Greece’s European partners is signed. He also denied the existence of a “Drachma Plan” within the government, at least on a collective policy level.

– See more at: http://greece.greekreporter.com/2015/07/29/greek-energy-minister-rules-out-privatization-of-independent-power-transmission-operator/#sthash.zzc6k8Al.dpuf

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