Shell’s plans for disengagement from Attica Gas Corporation (EPA Attikis) are hampering the government in its negotiations with the country’s creditors on the position of Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) in the natural gas retail market.
Shell’s proposal, which according to sources it has submitted to Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis and the creditors, provides for the reduction of DEPA’s stake in EPA Attikis from 51 percent today to 49 percent while also losing its executive capacity.
In the context of Athens’s commitments to open up the natural gas market, Stathakis appears to be sidestepping Shell’s proposal and rather attempting to negotiate a proposal with the creditors for the overhaul of both gas retailing companies (of Attica and Thessaloniki/Thessaly). That proposal foresees DEPA maintaining its 51 percent stake in EPA Attikis while its stake in EPA Thessaloniki/Thessaly would drop to 33 percent.
Whether the creditors accept Stathakis’s proposal also depends on Shell, although the Dutch energy giant has made it clear it will not back down on its own proposal. Both Shell and Italy’s ENI (the private stakeholder in EPA Thessaloniki/Thessaly) say DEPA being a supplier and a retailer violates the European legislation.