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The Public Power Corporation (PPC) of Greece has secured a €160 million loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to fund its operations during the COVID-19 crisis.

Greece’s largest power producer and electricity supplier will use the loan to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The loan will provide the utility with working capital to address the cashflow challenge resulting from customers failing to pay their bills.

The loan will also strengthen the resilience of the electricity sector as a whole by ensuring the stability of essential utility supplies and maintaining the momentum towards decarbonisation.

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The EBRD is helping PPC to establish an action plan to implement recommendations from the Task Force for Climate-related Disclosure.

The recommendtations include reducing or closing the country’s fossil-fueled power generators to combat climate change.

Greece is aiming to close all of its existing coal-fired power plants by the end of 2023.

The loan falls under the EBRD’s Vital Infrastructure Support Programme to ensure the provision of vital services in its countries of operations confronted with acute pressure from the coronavirus pandemic. EBRD has set a goal to invest up to €21 billion to tackle the challenges posed by the crisis.

Andreea Moraru, EBRD’s regional head of Greece and Cyprus, said: “We are very proud to be supporting PPC during these uncertain times.  PPC, and the Greek energy sector more generally, have embarked on a remarkable strategic reorientation away from coal and towards a green and sustainable model.

“This is one of the most ambitious energy transitions of any European country and PPC is central to those efforts.  This loan is part of EBRD’s commitment to supporting vital infrastructure providers in weathering the immediate impacts of the Covid-19 crisis while sustaining, and accelerating, their long-term efforts to address the climate change crisis.”

PPC CEO, Mr. George Stassis, adds: “The extraordinary conditions that we faced due to Covid-19 pushed us to change our business operation in order to adapt to the new environment and to redefine the relationship with our customers, a process which we had already initiated in previous months.

“Despite initial disruptions to our liquidity at the outset of the pandemic in March, we have succeeded in regaining pre-Covid levels since May, thanks to introducing new ways of communicating to and serving our customers. In any case, there is no room for complacency. We are closely monitoring the situation and we aim to shield the company against the possibility of a new pandemic wave. The EBRD has supported us in this effort from the beginning.”