ECONOMY

Azeri’s SOCAR interested in Greek state gas company

Azeri state energy form SOCAR wants to participate in a tender to buy a stake in Greek state company DEPA, a SOCAR official said on Tuesday.

“We are considering our participation in a tender on DEPA’s privatisation … We are talking about purchasing the state’s stake in this company,» Vagif Aliyev, the head of SOCAR’s investment department, told reporters in Baku, without providing further details.

Greece owns 65 percent of the natural gas company DEPA with the remaining stake held by Hellenic Petroleum. In January, Greece appointed advisers for the possible sale of its stake in DEPA but nothing has since happened.

SOCAR signed a deal in April to supply gas directly to DEPA, bypassing Turkish intermediaries.

Azerbaijan — a potential major supplier of gas for the European-backed Nabucco pipeline project — has made it a policy to diversify sales to avoid dependence on any one intermediary such as Turkey or Russia.

Aliyev said SOCAR was also interested in purchasing a stake in the Turkish gas distribution company, Ikdash.