So­car an­nounces prin­ci­pal DESFA deal

Gazprom says it will not make an of­fer for DEPA should TAIPED launch a new ten­der for the gas com­pany

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Az­eri state-run en­ergy gi­ant So­car con­firmed yes­ter­day that it has reached a prin­ci­pal agree­ment with Greek state as­set pri­va­ti­za­tion fund TAIPED for the ac­qui­si­tion of a ma­jor­ity stake in the coun­try’s nat­u­ral gas trans­mis­sion net­work op­er­a­tor (DESFA), but TAIPED sus­tained a blow at the same time, as Gazprom stated it will not make an of­fer if a ten­der for Pub­lic Gas Cor­po­ra­tion (DEPA) comes up again.

The State Oil Com­pany of Azer­bai­jan said on its web­site that, along with TAIPED, it is fine-tun­ing the fi­nal tech­ni­cal as­pects of their agree­ment.

So­car Pres­i­dent Rov­nag Ibrahim Ab­dul­layev re­leased a state­ment in English say­ing: “This de­ci­sion on pur­chas­ing DESFA is in true line with the ex­ist­ing high-level bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship be­tween Greece and Azer­bai­jan as well as So­car and Greece’s lead­ing en­ergy com­pa­nies. So­car has vast ex­pe­ri­ence with nat­u­ral gas pipe­line sys­tems in the Caspian re­gion and is look­ing for­ward to start work­ing in Greece as our first pro­ject of such type in the Euro­pean Union. So­car is quite op­ti­mistic about the fu­ture of co­op­er­a­tion in Greece.”

Ac­cord­ing to TAIPED sources, the com­ple­tion of the agree­ment is ex­pected in the next cou­ple of weeks, which would be af­ter the Az­eri govern­ment’s an­nounce­ment on June 28 re­gard­ing its pipe­line of choice for the trans­mis­sion of Az­eri gas to Western Europe be­tween Nabucco West and the Trans Adri­atic Pipe­line (TAP) that would go through Greece.

Yes­ter­day the En­vi­ron­ment and En­ergy Min­istry an- nounced the fi­nal text of the Host Govern­ment Agree­ment be­tween Athens and the TAP con­sor­tium, which will be of­fi­cially signed in the com­ing days.

“We now have all the nec­es­sary po­lit­i­cal agree­ments for the de­ci­sion of Shah Deniz,” TAP man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Kjetil Tung­land said, re­fer­ring to the Az­eri gas re­serve.

On the other hand, Rus­sia’s state gas ex­port monopoly Gazprom said yes­ter­day it will not bid for DEPA in a pos­si­ble new pri­va­ti­za­tion ten­der, ac­cord­ing to Reuters. Gazprom pulled out of the first ten­der at its sec­ond stage as it did not file a bind­ing of­fer.

Asked whether Gazprom would bid again if there was a new ten­der in Greece, the head of Gazprom’s ex­port arm, Alexan­der Medvedev, said, “No, we won’t go.”

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