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Energa and Hellas Power counterattack

11 February 2012 / 20:02:54  GRReporter
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The management of the company Worldwide Energy Limited (WEL) of Dubai, which is the new owner of Energa and Hellas Power, seems determined to seek its rights in the Greek courts and the "Competition" Department of the European Commission. The investment company will appeal against the decision of the regulatory authority based on which the two power companies were deleted from the register of electricity suppliers, which led to the termination of their activities.

The total amount, which the company will ask from the state regulators - the Hellenic transmission system operator (DESMIE), the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE), and others - for "violations and irregularities in the market", exceeds 340 million Euros.

This was announced at a news conference by Noe Benziane and Alan Cable, representatives of WEL, which since November is the new majority shareholder in both energy companies. They once again refused to name the owners of the company and limited themselves in refuting the rumours that they have a direct link with the old owners of the companies.

WEL representatives indirectly claimed that the closing of the companies is due to competition and explained that, given the liberalization of the energy market through the sale of thermal and hydroelectric power stations by the State Electricity Company (DEI), some people got scared that the two companies could acquire such power stations or sign contracts for long-term cooperation. This would have reduced their production costs and enable them to grow even more, especially because they would have won over 200 000 customers, which today due to the closing of the two companies, went back to the State Electricity Company (DEI).

"It is not a coincidence that the signal for illegal transmission has been submitted to the authorities by the Swiss RGL, which has left Greece, is not in the records of suppliers, and carries out only trade. So, virtually it has no business interests in the country", said WEL representatives and suggested that the Swiss have acted on behalf of another competitor, who did not want to appear on the stage.

Participating in the interview were also WEL’s legal advisers Glikeria Siouti (who has worked as legal advisor to former Prime Minister George Papandreou) and Nikolaos Nikolinakos, who indicated that they initiated legal proceedings for the return of the companies’ licenses, in order to subsequently open the way for requesting benefits.

They believe that the first vindication came with the recent decision of the State Council to approve the request of the two energy companies. The decision is reflected in the return of 80 million Euros for both companies by the Hellenic transmission system operator.

Given that the obligations of both companies to the Hellenic transmission system operator for the purchase of electricity amounted to 60 million Euros, the decision of the State Council turns the claims of the state body and it automatically becomes indebted to the two companies.

To a journalist's question of whether the money should be returned to consumers rather than to the company the legal advisers and WEL representatives avoided giving a specific answer, saying that they must first see the detailed decision. According to information, however, such a question will not be posed.

The WEL representatives reiterated that the available cash of the companies exceeds 73 million Euros and is sufficient to cover all their obligations, property taxes, municipal taxes and other obligations. A request to the judicial authorities has already been submitted in order for the accounts of the companies to be released, so they can pay everything off and so that the embezzlement charge can be dropped.

Furthermore, they stressed that the two companies have additional requests for 135 million Euros from the market, relating to amounts billed but not collected from customers.

We should remind you that the conclusion of the prosecutor and chairman of the Agency against legalization of proceeds of crime Panagiotis Nikoloudis, indicated that the two companies received money for the supply of electricity, but instead of giving it to the State Electricity Company (DEI) and the Hellenic transmission system operator (DESMIE), the money reached bank accounts in Switzerland. The WEL representatives emphasized that the accounts in Switzerland are completely legitimate, they do not belong to an individual, on the contrary - these are accounts of both companies.

They also confirmed that the WEL is a gated investment company based in Dubai, seeking investment opportunities in energy. They believe that despite the objections of the Greek market, the country offers dynamic opportunities, given the liberalization of the market.

Even they themselves did not expect that within three months their investment will return 80 million Euros.

The financial claims of the company, amounting to 340 million Euros as mentioned, include 40 million Euros for 2011 from the requirement for consumption of electricity by customers of both companies, 30 million Euros from not charging the energy produced from alternative energy sources, which was increasing the marginal price in the system by 10 percent, 40 million Euros from increased fees for certification of availability and estimated damages amounting to 90 million Euros by the refusal of the State Energy Company (DEI) to include in the system 38 000 customers, who had wanted to become customers of both companies, "under the pretext that the companies did not fully pay the overtime property tax."

Tags: WEL energy Greece Dubai Electricity DEI Energa Hellas Power
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