Skourletis begins talks with Fluxys on DESFA stake


Energy and Environment Minister Panos Skourletis has arranged for a meeting on Friday with representatives of Belgian natural gas network operator Fluxys, which has expressed an interest in the acquisition of a 17 percent stake in Greek gas network operator DESFA.

The Belgian company has expressed its interest to sell-off fund TAIPED jointly with Spain’s Enagas, while the stake, which Azeri state company Socar will concede, is also being eyed by Italy’s Snam – the same firm that is vying for the 20 percent stake Norway’s Statoil holds in the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

The concession of 17 percent of DESFA to another company, preferably from the European Union, is a necessary condition that the European Commission has set to authorize the sale of a majority stake in the Greek operator to the Azeris.

Snam is interested in the entire 17 percent stake in DESFA, while Fluxys and Enagas are planning to split the stake between them.

The talks with the candidate buyers are being conducted by TAIPED and Socar, in cooperation with the competition authorities in Brussels, with the aim of all three sides being to have the procedure completed by the end of the year. One of the issues being discussed is the amount that the buyer will pay to Socar.