Deal between Greek power company, China’s CMEC on hold after Commission objection
A high-profile agreement between state-run Public Power Corp. (PPC) and Chinese utility operator CMEC is on hold, according to Greek Deputy Economy Minister Stergios Pitsiorlas, who told reporters on Friday that the EU Commission maintains that construction of a new lignite-fired power plant in northern Greece can materialize only through an open international tender.
The announcement essentially puts the brakes on a massive agreement that reaches up to one billion euros – 750 million euros for the new plant next to current PPC units at the Meliti site (Florina prefecture) as well as proposed investments to expand the nearby lignite pits that fuel the area’s power plants.
Pitsiorlas, who was shifted to the Cabinet after a very successful tenure as the head of Greece’s memorandum-mandated privatization fund (HRADF), said the negative development will not dampen the leftist Greek government’s efforts to boost bilateral economic relations with China on all levels.
PPC is the partially state-owned but wholly managed dominant power utility in Greece. The EU Commission and institutional creditors have long demanded that the utility be partially broken up in order to boost competition in the local market and reduce rates to consumers, businesses and industry.
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