Fluxys refuses to buy stake in Greece’s DESFA
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 28
By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:
Belgian company Fluxys refused to buy a share in Greek gas transmission network operator DESFA's 66 percent controlling stake, which is to be bought by Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR, Greece's Ekathimerini reported March 28 citing unnamed sources.
Reportedly, Fluxys departed from talks on the issue.
"The board of the company that operates Belgium's gas system and had expressed an interest in DESFA's 17 percent stake has decided to abandon that plan," said the report. "The company is supporting the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP)."
Greece's Energy Minister Panos Skourletis said in September 2015 that for the completion of the sale of the 66 percent controlling stake in DESFA to SOCAR, another 17 percent must be sold to an EU firm, with SOCAR also having a say in the selection of the new stakeholder.
Earlier, the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) said it received a formal proposal from Fluxys-Enagas and Italian company Snam to buy a 17-percent stake in DESFA.
Fluxys showed an interest in 8 percent and Enagas in 11 percent of the shares. An informal interest in DESFA has been expressed by Dutch company Gasunie.
SOCAR won a tender in December 2013 on the purchase of a 66-percent share in DESFA for 400 million euros. The European Commission started an inquiry into the compliance of the deal on acquisition of a stake in DESFA with the EU regulations in November 2014. Currently, the deal is being considered by the European Commission's Directorate General for Competition, and the procedure will last until the end of 2016.
TAP is meant to transport natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz 2 field in Azerbaijan to Europe. The approximately 870 km long TAP will connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi, cross Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in southern Italy.
TAP's construction is expected to start in 2016. Its initial capacity will be 10 billion cubic meters of gas a year.
TAP's shareholders are BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam S.p.A (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).
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