Azerbaijan, Baku, June 15 / Trend E. Ismayilov /
State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) is on the verge of acquiring the assets of Greek gas company DEPA, SOCAR head Rovnag Abdullayev told reporters on Saturday.
He added that the tender procedure for DEPA asset privatization has been completed and SOCAR started negotiations with the Greek side.
"The specialists have already started the negotiations on this issue," Abdullayev said.
Regarding the re-tender on DEPA asset privatization, Abdullayev said that the issue will be discussed during the talks.
According to SOCAR head, the acquisition of the Greek assets means SOCAR's appearance at the gas distribution market. This will further strengthen SOCAR's export potential.
The process of selling DEPA and gas transportation system operator DESFA is regarded as one of the key points of the Greek privatization program. Greece expected to receive up to 1.5 billion euro from the sale. It was found out that "Gazprom", which was considered as the main contender for purchasing DEPA, decided not to put forward a binding offer. A representative of the gas holding said that "Gazprom" has not received sufficient guarantees that DEPA's financial situation will not deteriorate by the end of the transaction.
The contestants were to submit binding offers to purchase DEPA and gas transportation system operator DESFA on June 10, but only SOCAR of five participants submitted an offer.
DEPA Holding is engaged in wholesale and supply of natural gas to major customers. Through its subsidiary DESFA the holding owns the national gas transportation network and regasification terminals. In addition, DEPA owns 51 percent of the companies on the retail sale and deliveries of natural gas to small and medium businesses and private customers in Greece.