March 8, 2018 / 3:56 PM / a year ago

Greece's PPC says Chinese firms interested in coal-fired plants sale

ATHENS (Reuters) - Several Chinese firms have expressed interest in acquiring coal-fired plants Greece’s power utility Public Power Corp. (PPC) will divest to comply with an EU court ruling, the company’s chief executive said on Thursday.

Athens has agreed with its foreign creditors that PPC, which is 51 percent state-owned, will sell plants equal to about 40 percent of its capacity after a European court ruled the utility had abused its dominant position in the coal market.

Asked by reporters whether there were many Chinese investors interested in the plants, PPC’s Chief Executive Officer Manolis Panagiotakis said “quite a few”.

In a market test conducted by the European Commission’s directorate general for competition, fifteen investors have expressed interest in acquiring the plants.

Athens is expected to pass relevant law by April in order for PPC to launch a tender by June.

“We hope there are no obstacles and, indeed, we launch the tender in June,” Panagiotakis said.

PPC has hired PwC and HSBC as consultants on the sale, he added.

The units that will be sold are Meliti I and the yet-to-be-built Meliti II in northern Greece along with another two units in the southern Greek town of Megalopolis.

Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Mark Potter

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