BUSINESS

State sell-off fund sees time running out for 2018 revenues

VANGELIS MANDRAVELIS, CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

The deal for the concession of 66 percent of DESFA could be completed by the end of the year.

TAGS: Privatizations, Energy

Funds expected from state asset utilizations in 2018 have yet to make to into the coffers of state sell-off fund TAIPED. Under pressure from the country’s creditors and the threat that national debt-easing measures could stall, the government is attempting a final push aimed at concluding certain issues.

A host of projects remain open less than three weeks before the end of the financial year, during which state officials have pledged that state revenues from the utilization of state assets will reach 2 billion euros.

The key to this pledge is revenues from the 20-year extension of the Athens International Airport contract, which will need to be ratified by Parliament in time for the 1.115 billion euros to flow into TAIPED’s coffers.

The government’s focus is also on gas grid operator DESFA and the issuing of the casino permit for the old Athens airport plot at Elliniko.

Concerning DESFA, TAIPED officials are eager to see the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) issue its certification for the natural gas transmission network under its new ownership, which is the last issue pending for the completion of the transfer of DESFA’s 66 percent stake to the consortium comprising Snam, Fluxys and Enagas.

There is a small time frame for the revenues of 251 million euros to reach the state coffers by year-end, as this is the state’s share from the 31 percent stake in DESFA that is being sold; another 284 million euros will go to Hellenic Petroleum, which will concede a 35 percent stake.

A possible new delay by RAE would almost certainly mean the December 28 deadline will be missed, and TAIPED notified the energy watchdog last week.

The sale of Hellenic Petroleum’s 50.1 percent stake has now been put off until 2019, with binding bids expected by end-January.

Next month will also see Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) being split into a gas trading firm and an infrastructure company before 50.1 percent of the former is sold off.

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