December 31, 2018 / 3:53 PM / 8 months ago

Public Power says it will continue supplying Greek nickel producer Larco until Jan. 11

ATHENS, Dec 31 (Reuters) - Greece’s Public Power Corp (PPC) will continue to supply debt-laden Larco, Europe’s biggest nickel producer, with electricity until next month, extending a previous deadline which expires later on Monday.

Larco, which is 55 percent owned by the Greek state, owes about 280 million euros ($319 million) in unpaid electricity bills to state-controlled power utility PPC, also a minority shareholder in the company.

The Greek government has been working on a plan to avert a closure of Larco, asking the producer to cut its output to align itself with lower nickel prices and to reduce wage costs.

PPC warned Larco earlier this month it would pull the plug on Jan. 1, 2019, unless the company cut its production costs to meet its obligations.

PPC said on Monday that it will continue to supply Larco until Jan. 11, showing its goodwill since further talks are planned.

It said it has decided to give Larco more time, although the company’s proposals failed to meet conditions set by PPC, including the full payment of outstanding monthly bills.

Larco employs about 1,000 people in Greece. According to Refinitiv Eikon data, the company produced 21,800 tonnes of nickel in 2016. (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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