Greece received six expressions of interest for the sale of a 66 percent stake in state natural gas grid operator DESFA, the country’s privatization agency (HRADF) said in a press release on Monday.
The investor groups that responded to the tender are:
-Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Ltd
-A consortium of Italy’s Snam, Spain’s Enagas Internacional, Belgium’s Fluxys and Dutch-based Gasunie (the first three first companies are also shareholders in TAP)
-A consortium of Romanian state-owned Transgaz with France’s GRTgaz
-Spain’s Regasificadora del Noroeste
-The US’s Integrated Utility Services (INTUS)
-Qatar’s Powerglobe LLC
HRADF’s advisors will evaluate the above proposals and submit to the agency’s board their recommendation regarding the candidates that qualify for the next phase of the tender.
Commenting on the development, Environment and Energy ministry sources said the fact that among the interested investors are some of Europe’s biggest natural gas operators is “a vote of confidence for the next day of the Greek economy”.
Under the deal, Greece’s biggest oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum is selling its 35 percent stake in DESFA and Greece is divesting the rest.
A previous deal to sell DESFA to Azerbaijan’s SOCAR fell through last year after Greece passed legislation raising DESFA’s gas tariffs by a lower amount than SOCAR had expected.
DESFA owns and operates Greece’s natural gas network and a liquified natural gas terminal offshore west of the Greek capital.
It transports gas from the Greek-Bulgarian and Greek-Turkish borders to Greek consumers via a 1,459 kilometre pipeline.
Last year, it recorded sales of 170 million euros and a net profit of 34 million euros. Its fixed assets stood at about 1.3 billion euros. (amna.gr, reuters)