Greece to kick off sales of nickel producer Larco by year-end

12th November 2020 By: Reuters

ATHENS – Greece will kick off the sale of assets owned by Larco, one of the world's biggest nickel producers, later this month, its energy Ministry said on Thursday.

Larco, which is 55% owned by the State, had been struggling under half a billion euros in debt owed to suppliers, contractors, banks and pension funds. A special administrator was appointed in February to sell some of the producer's assets.

Greece's privatisation agency and Larco's special administrator will launch separate tenders respectively at the end of the month, Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis was quoted as saying in a Ministry statement.

One tender will be for the long-term lease of Larco's smelting plant and the other for the sale of two of its mines, Hatzidakis said, adding that the aim is for one investor to acquire all the assets.

The country will also launch in December the sale of a 49% stake in power grid operator HEDNO, the Ministry said.

HEDNO operates Greece's 242 000-km-long power distribution grid and is now fully owned by the country's biggest power utility Public Power Corp. (PPC) which is 51% Sate-owned.

Greece aims to complete the HEDNO sale by July, Hatzidakis said.

HEDNO wants to spend €200-million annually to upgrade the network. Its plans include replacing outdated meters with new, smart ones.