ContourGlobal and PPC to Ink Venture in Kosovo Lignite

Athens, Oct 19, 2006 – The Public Power Corp (PPC) and US energy firm ContourGlobal are set to finalize the structure of a joint venture and decide on a bid for a lignite field in Kosovo, a PPC source told Reuters.

“The joint venture’s board will comprise six members, with three from PPC and three from Contour,” the source said. “A decision on an expression of interest for the Kosovo fields will also be taken.”

The two sides were expected to meet later yesterday in Athens to finalize the agreement, the source said.

The joint venture’s main focus will initially be in South-eastern Europe in the fields of mining, the generation of electricity and renewable energy resources. It could expand into the broader Mediterranean region in the future, the source said.

The two groups will initially each control a 50 percent stake.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has also expressed an interest in being part of the joint venture as an equity partner and will probably join with a 10 percent stake by the end of next month, the source said.

Constantinos Panousopoulos, strategic adviser to PPC’s management, will be named CEO of the joint venture company, with ContourGlobal president Joseph Brandt its chairman and PPC head Dimitris Maniatakis the vice president.

An expression of interest in developing Kosovo’s lignite fields will probably be one of the venture’s first forays into the region.

The Government of Kosovo is expected to soon tender contracts to develop its lignite fields in the Sibovc region and build power generation plants. PPC is seeking to secure alternate sources of lignite as Greece liberalizes its energy market allowing competitors access to the cheap fuel.