Ma­jor in­ter­est seen for DESFA

Kathimerini English - - Focus - CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

Sources from the gov­ern­ment and the state sell-off fund (TAIPED) ex­press their op­ti­mism for the first stage of a ten­der for the pri­va­ti­za­tion of gas grid op­er­a­tor DESFA that is to be com­pleted on Mon­day with the ex­pres­sion of in­ter­est from po­ten­tial in­vestors.

Given the cli­mate cre­ated to date, the ten­der will likely be graced by the pres­ence of four Euro­pean net­work op­er­a­tors: Fluxys from Bel­gium, Ga­sunie from The Nether­lands, GRT gas from France and Ena­gas from Spain.

Fluxys and Ga­sunie are ex­pected to en­ter as a con­sor­tium, while an en­try is also an­tic­i­pated from Italy’s Snam through some form of co­op­er­a­tion, given that the con­di­tions of the ten­der do not al­low it to come in au­tonomously. En­tries must in­clude at least a na­tional op­er­a­tor, so Snam does not qual­ify. Per­sis­tent ru­mors about it team­ing up with one of the four op­er­a­tors have not been con­firmed, how­ever.

The in­ter­est of Snam, Fluxys and Ena­gas is re­lated to their par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Trans Adri­atic Pipe­line and the syn­er­gies it will cre­ate with the Greek gas sys­tem.

Quite a few ob­servers say the new ten­der could match the price of 400 mil­lion eu­ros that Azerbaijan’s So­car had of­fered at the first ten­der for the 66 per­cent stake in DESFA that is up for grabs.

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