Energy authority’s DESFA certification paves way for sale’s completion

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has delivered its pending certification needed for the completion of a gas grid operator DESFA sale, giving Snam, Fluxys and Enagas, the winning bidding team, a 66 percent stake, sources have informed.

This move sets the stage for the transfer of DESFA’s 66 percent to the buying trio. RAE also approved the gas grid operator’s WACC figures at a board meeting yesterday.

Snam, Fluxys and Enagas, as well as their respective Italian, Belgian and Spanish embassies in Greece, had raised concerns over delays holding back the sale procedure’s final stage.

State privatization fund TAIPED is eager to complete the transaction, which will inject 251.3 million euros of the sale’s total amount of 535 million euros into its coffers. Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), DESFA’s other shareholder, stands to receive 283.7 million euros.

TAIPED’s leadership regards the DESFA privatization as a success. A preceding sale effort, staged four years earlier, was cancelled to make way for a new attempt that ended up generating a higher sale price.

RAE has yet to endorse DESFA’s 10-year national gas grid development plan, submitted approximately a year and a half ago.

The privatization fund is now awaiting the energy ministry’s submission to parliament of a draft bill needed for gas utility DEPA’s split into two companies, DEPA Trade and DEPA Infrastructure, ahead of its privatization. The energy ministry plans to submit this bill in January.