So­car ex­pects to wrap up DESFA deal soon

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

BAKU (Reuters) – Az­eri state en­ergy com­pany So­car said on Satur­day it has started talks with the Greek govern­ment on pur­chas­ing the coun­try’s nat­u­ral gas trans­mis­sion net­work op­er­a­tor DESFA, af­ter be­ing the only bid­der in a failed ten­der for the as­set sale. “The ten­der pro­ce­dure on the pri­va­ti­za­tion of DESFA is over and So­car has started talks with the Greek govern­ment,” So­car’s pres­i­dent, Rov­nag Ab­dul­layev, told re­porters. “It means that the whole nat­u­ral gas dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tem of Greece will be in our hands soon.” Rus­sian en­ergy com­pany Sin­tez and Greek-Czech group PPF-Terna dropped out of the race for DESFA ear­lier this month, leav­ing So­car the only ma­jor player in the run­ning. Ab­dul­layev said that a pur­chase of Greek as­sets would “strengthen the ex­port po- ten­tial of So­car.” So­car wants to in­crease the level of its gas dis­tri­bu­tion in Greece, from 17 per­cent at present, and de­liver gas from the ma­jor Shah Deniz field off Azer­bai­jan to the Euro­pean coun­try. Greece failed to at­tract any bind­ing bids for nat­u­ral gas firm DEPA ear­lier this month, mean­ing a key sale to meet the coun­try’s pri­va­ti­za­tion tar­gets un­der its in­ter­na­tional bailout had floun­dered.

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