The first formal expression of interest in the 17 percent stake in Greek natural gas transmission network operator DESFA was received on Tuesday by state sell-off fund TAIPED from Snam, the operator of the Italian network, while the government is anticipating a bid from a Greek consortium too.
Snam is one of the biggest natural gas network and infrastructure management companies and has partnerships with Belgium’s Fluxys. It has a stake in the Zeebrugge Interconnector pipeline between the UK and Belgium and in one of the biggest Russian-gas importing pipelines in Central Europe.
Energy Minister Panos Skourletis revealed on Tuesday that an offer from a Greek consortium is also to be expected, without offering any further details. He did stress that for the completion of the sale of the 49 percent controlling stake in DESFA to Azeri state firm Socar, another 17 percent must be sold to a European Union firm, with the Azeris also having a say in the selection of the new stakeholder, for the process to clear the hurdle of European Union rules.
An informal interest in DESFA has been expressed by Fluxys and Dutch company Gasunie in the past.