With a view to 2022, the restoration of ground in the mines and lignite stations of PPC. The legislative regulation for the Special Purpose Company, the separation of the branch from PPC and the announcement of the Special Urban Planning Studies are still pending, the specifications of which have just been signed by the Energy Ministry.

There is still a long way to go for the restoration and development of the ground in Western Macedonia and Megalopolis, which are “liberated” due to the abandonment of lignite as a source of power. This is 2/3 of the 247,000 acres in Western Macedonia and Megalopolis, which today belong to the PPC and will be transferred to a Special Purpose Vehicle – SPV that will be established by the State. However, for this to happen, a special regulation must first be forwarded for a vote in the Parliament, which will determine, among other things, the statute of the SPV, ie it will describe its purpose, its organization, the way it operates, etc.

The plan envisages that, out of the total area currently maintained by the PPC in the two areas that are used as lignite mines in the country, in which the company’s mines and lignite power plants have been operating for decades, 164,000 acres will be separated from its property base and will be given to the SPV, with virtually no consideration, offsetting the value of the specific lands with the cost of restoration. However, neither the secession of the branch has been done by PPC, nor has it been determined by which mechanism the transfer will take place.

It should be noted that the SPV – for the management and exploitation of the real estate that will be assigned to it – will enter into a partnership with an individual, who will be selected through tender procedures and will undertake the implementation of infrastructure projects, their operation, while is also responsible for the selection of companies that will be hosted in the lignite areas.

In addition to the establishment of the SPV, in order to proceed with the planning of the projects that will be installed in the lignite areas, the Special Urban Plans (SUPs) must be completed, which will determine the standard of spatial organization and development, as well as the basic dimensions relating to the boundaries of urban units, land uses, building conditions and restrictions and other urban interventions. However, in order for the PPC to announce the tender for the studies of the EPC, which is expected for months, it had to be preceded by the issuance of a Joint Ministerial Decision that would set the relevant specifications, which was finally signed a few days ago by the Deputy Minister of Environment. and Energy Mr. Nikos Tagaras and is now on the road to the National Printing Office.

At the same time, the program contract that will be concluded with the State for the conduct of the tenders for the SUP was recently passed by the Board of Directors of the PPC. After the studies are completed – which will take about two years to – the Presidential Decrees (PD) of the urban plans will be drafted and after passing through the judgment of the Council of State (CoS) and if necessary, the corrections will be made, so as to proceed with the establishment of businesses and actions.

But even if the studies “run” with fast track procedures – as was done with the EPS for the case of Mati in Attica which was completed in about 10 months – in the best case the PDs will not have been signed before next autumn. Provided, of course, that in parallel with the studies for the EPS, the Strategic Environmental Assessment will be drafted, which is necessary, based on the relevant provisions of the law. In any case, in order to complete the Plan for the Fair Transition of the two energy regions of the country to a climate-neutral economy, the restoration of the soil must have preceded.

As for the 1/3 of the lands that will remain in the ownership of PPC, after they are restored, the investments of the Renewable Energy Sources (RES) projects of the company will be installed, which have already been launched, while for the remaining areas of approximately 8,300 hectares resources will be utilized from the € 242 million committed to the Recovery Fund.

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