Greece keen to conclude DESFA sale with SOCAR

Oil&Gas Materials 20 September 2016 17:21 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 20

By Aygun Badalova - Trend:

Greece is working to overcome snags in the sale of its natural gas grid operator DESFA to Azerbaijani state oil company SOCAR, Reuters reported referring to Greek energy ministry officials.

"The government is open to talks with all involved parties for the process to conclude smoothly," one of the officials said without naming the parties. "Talks continue in a constructive manner."

SOCAR won a tender in 2013 on the purchase of a 66-percent stake in DESFA for 400 million euros.

Earlier, Azerbaijan's Energy Minister Natig Aliyev said that the deal on SOCAR's purchasing the 66-percent share in Greece's DESFA will be completed after Italy's Snam purchases 17 percent of that share.

In July 2016, Greek Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change Panos Skourletis accused the European Commission of delaying the deal on selling a share in Greece's DESFA to SOCAR. Skourletis said that a number of conditions, set by the European Commission, greatly slowed the privatization process of the gas operator.

In particular, the company will become a passive shareholder, not entitled to vote in the management of the company, as a result of decreasing SOCAR’s share in DESFA up to 49 percent.

Greek MPs stressed that the problems with the privatization of DESFA may deprive the country’s economy of SOCAR’s huge capital injections.

Earlier Director General of SOCAR Energy Greece Anar Mammadov said that SOCAR expects compromise proposals from the Greek government for the successful completion of the deal.

He said that the new rules for calculating tariffs for gas in Greece will have a negative impact on the profitability of DESFA.