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The Investment Opportunities in SE Europe’s Energy Sector Were Highlighted at PPC Energy Forum in Thessaloniki

The Investment Opportunities in SE Europe’s Energy Sector Were Highlighted at PPC Energy Forum in ThessalonikiIn a well-attended event, convened by Greece’s Public Power Corporation (PPC), in partnership with IENE, and held in the grounds of the annual Thessaloniki Trade Fair on September 9, the energy investment agenda of SE Europe was discussed in a day-long Energy Forum

In a well-attended event, convened by Greece’s Public Power Corporation (PPC), in partnership with IENE, and held in the grounds of the annual Thessaloniki Trade Fair on September 9, the energy investment agenda of SE Europe was discussed in a day-long Energy Forum. Several leading energy experts and senior company executives from USA, China, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, FYROM and Cyprus participated with keynote presentations and panel discussions which followed. Equally strong was participation at corporate level with leading industrial and energy companies present among them HELPE, OTE, Mytilineos Holdings, Copelouzos Group, Terna Energy, Siemens, Enel Green Power, Scheider Electric, Cisco etc.

Among the distinguished speakers at the Forum was the head of the European Commission in Greece, Mr. Panos Karvounis, who referred to the available  financial instruments, stressing that the role of energy for the economic recovery of Greece is absolutely crucial, Mr. Victor Vlad Grigorescu, Romania's former Minister of Energy who underlined energy security issues and Mr. Alex Papalexopoulos, Chairman & Managing Director of San Francisco based ECCO International Inc. who expanded on issues related to the target model and the harmonization of electricity markets in Europe. In his keynote speech Greece’s Minister of Environment and Energy, Mr. George Stathakis, stressed the importance of national energy planning in alignment with European policies, in which lignite as a national fuel, must be allowed (by Brussels) to achieve the maximum possible participation in the country’s energy mix.

The key themes of this one day highly focused conference included the "Trends and Developments in European Electricity Market, SE Europe Electricity Market Prospects and Investment Opportunities”, "Electricity Market: Investments and Funding Instruments”, "Renewable Energy and Storage, Applied R&D in Power Sector” and a review of the available "Funding Instruments”. Senior government officials and top company executives participated with keynote speeches and qualified interventions. Among them H.E. Efisio Luigi Marras Ambassador, Republic of Italy, Mr. Xinghua Shi, SGID's delegate in IPTO and deputy CEO and Member of the Board of Directors, State Grid International Development Co Ltd. (SGID) participated in a Session chaired by Mr. Kimon Malataras, Director, Coprorate Affairs and Communication Dept. of PPC. Following that Mr. Shumin Wang, Executive Vice President, SHENHUA GROUP, China, Mr. Meng Zhang, Vice Director of Business Development Division, CMEC, China, Prof. Vesna Borozan, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies, University of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mr.Nikolay Iliev, Deputy Director Finance & Budget, ESO EAD, Bulgaria and Mr. Andreas Marangos,Chairman of the BoD, Electricity Authority of Cyprus participated in the 2nd Session co-ordinated by Mr. Gus Papamichalopoulos, Deputy Chairman of IENE, Kyriakides Georgopoulos (KG) Law Firm, Greece.

 Mr. Christopher Tan, Director of SUMEC Clean Energy International, Mr. Ilias Monacholias, CEO of PPC Renewables S.A., Greece, Mr. George Papadimitriou, Head of East Europe & North Africa, Enel Green Power, Hellas, Mr. Konstantinos Stamatakis, Director, Tests, Research & Standards Center of Public Power Corporation (PPC) participated in the 3rdSession which was dedicated on renewable energy and was moderated by Ms. Alexandra Gouta, a Journalist of the Athens News Agency. Mr. Li Dongya, Deputy Director-General of Global Cooperation Department – Eurasia, China Development Bank (CDB), Dr. Nick Frydas, Chartered Electrical Power Engineer and Energy Economist, International Finance Corporation – IFC (World Bank Group), Mr. Nicholas Jennett, Deputy Director General, European Investment Bank (EIB) and Mr. Karl Vella, Communication & Public Affairs Coordinator (Generation, Climate & Environment),of the Union of the Electricity – EURELECTRIC, took part in the fourth and final session which covered investment and financial issues.

The last session of the conference, moderated by IENE’s Executive Director, Mr. Costis Stambolis, which covered funding requirements and financial support mechanisms, was of particular importance and it included presentations by IFC of the World Bank, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the China Development Bank (CDB) and Eurelectric. According to a latest IENE report published earlier this year (see IENE’s SE Europe Energy Outlook 2016/17), a total of 273 bn is to be invested by 2025 in energy projects in all 13 countries of the region, including Turkey, as foreseen in a low growth scenario and some 333 bn in the case of a high growth forecast.

Key Messages by PPC Chairman

Summing up the Forum’s proceedings PPC’s Chairman and CEO Mr. Manolis Panayiotakis observed that "electricity companies are now faced with rapid technological developments, political developments, institutional developments at EU level, having to deal with unprecedented challenges and being puzzled about their future . This was demonstrated in a most visible way in Lisbon at a conference organized by Eurelectric sometime ago but was also underlined by Mr. Karl Velka, Eurolectric’s representative in the present Thessaloniki’s Forum. We at PPC also get these messages and we realize that our role needs to change. We have heard that consumers will be at the forefront. We have heard about digitization, electric cars, new technologies, storage. All of this is very important for our strategy. I want to believe that we have all got the messages we need. Right now PPC is in the process of formulating its strategic planning with the assistance and support of a qualified consultant. Within a few months, we will clarify our strategy, but we have already formed and are already working on basic strategic directions, which cover the diversification of our products, our services and our activities”.

Mr. Panayiotakis further said that "as Mr. Jennett from the European Investment Bank noted, PPC is in the process of becoming an energy service company. In this context we want to take advantage of our capabilities. I think a sample was given by Mr. Stamatakis for PPC Research and Standards Testing Center, but there are other new areas in which we aim to develop further our activities and other products. And of course, in order to develop all these activities we need financial support. From this point of view the three financial giants who are here today (i.e. EIB, IFC and CDB) have analyzed the criteria, the possibilities and the methods by which they finance projects and their intervention is most valuable to us. In particular, I would like to mention and thank the European Investment Bank, which during all these difficult years has been one of our main finances and has helped us considerably. We believe that we, for our part, have also met our obligations towards EIB. I am also referring to China Development Bank, with which we are starting our cooperation today. We look forward to developing our business activities both within Greece and abroad but also with various Chinese companies. And, of course, the World Bank, which through IFC is active in other areas with which we also have to deal”.

PPC’s Chairman concluded by saying that "in light of our new strategy PPC is today in a position to view its future more optimistically. PPC remains a valuable and trustworthy development tool for Greece and despite the fact that adapting to European policies will reduce its share in the domestic market, we aspire at the end to become a different company, bigger and stronger. "


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