Fresh DESFA ten­der to be pro­claimed soon

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

It ap­pearsthat it’s back to the draw­ing board for the DESFA pri­va­ti­za­tion project af­ter the fail­ure of the agree­ment with Az­eri com­pany So­car for the the sale of the state’s gas grid op­er­a­tor. The gov­ern­ment is aim­ing to com­plete the en­tire pro­ce­dure as soon as pos­si­ble, and def­i­nitely within 2017.

The main ob­sta­cle to the an­nounce­ment of a new ten­der is the pend­ing can­cel­la­tion of the con­tract signed in 2013 be­tween state sell­off fund TAIPED and So­car for the trans­fer of 66 per­cent of DESFA by com­mon con­sent and with­out the for­fei­ture of the Az­eris’ let­ter of guar­an­tee.

Once that pro­ce­dure is com­pleted, ex­pected within Jan­uary, the process will start for the com­mis­sion­ing of a con­sul­tant for a re­vi­sion of the com­pany’s val­u­a­tion, ac­cord­ing to the timetable pub­lished by En­ergy Min­is­ter Gior­gos Stathakis. This will be fol­lowed by the new procla­ma­tion in search for a strate­gic in­vestor.

In the mean­time the gov­ern­ment – in co­op­er­a­tion with its cred­i­tors – will re­view the stake it will put up for sale, as Stathakis im­plied in an in­ter­view with the state’s Athen­sMace­do­nian News Agency. The main sce­nario un­der con­sid­er­a­tion con­cerns a pri­va­ti­za­tion model sim­i­lar to that used for the In­de­pen­dent Power Trans­mis­sion Op­er­a­tor (ADMIE) – i.e. keep­ing a 51 per­cent stake for the state in­stead of the orig­i­nal 34 per­cent that the deal with So­car had pro­vided for.

The at­ti­tude of the coun­try’s cred­i­tors will also de­ter­mine the po­si­tion of Hel­lenic Pe­tro­leum, which con­trols a 35 per­cent stake in DESFA which it had put up for sale in its en­tirety in the first ten­der.

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