So­car ex­tends dead­line for DESFA deal

Kathimerini English - - Focus - CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

The saga that is the pri­va­ti­za­tion of gas grid op­er­a­tor DESFA has been length­ened an­other month af­ter Az­eri state com­pany So­car agreed to re­new the let­ter of guar­an­tee that was due to ex­pire on Mon­day un­til the end of Novem­ber.

As the pre­vi­ous one-month ex­ten­sion agreed af­ter Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras’s meet­ing with So­car CEO Rov­nag Ab­dul­layev on Septem­ber 27 did not lead to a deal, ef­forts over the last few days were fo­cused on get­ting an­other so that the trans­fer of 66 per­cent of DESFA to So­car can be com­pleted. Af­ter that, a stake of be­tween 17 and 30 per­cent will be trans­ferred from So­car to Italy’s Snam, to fi­nally bring an end to the three-and-a-half-year saga.

So­car agreed to grant an­other month-long ex­ten­sion to the let­ter of guar­an­tee late on Mon­day, but con­sul­ta­tions be­tween the two sides be­came fraught on sev­eral oc­ca­sions, as So­car of­fi­cials in­sisted on ask­ing for a writ­ten com­mit­ment from the sellers (state sell-off fund TAIPED and Hel­lenic Pe­tro­leum) that the let­ter of guar­an­tee would not be can­celed in case of fail­ure to strike a deal.

That put the Greek side in a dif­fi­cult po­si­tion as it is des­per­ate to keep the pro­ject alive un­til the com­ple­tion of the sec­ond bailout re­view, given that the pri­va­ti­za­tion of DESFA is one of the milestones. Eventually the Az­eris got what they wanted.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.