BUSINESS

Major European interest seen for gas grid operator DESFA

CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

TAGS: Privatizations, Energy, Business

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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