DEPA split plan finalized, to be presented Monday

The gas utility DEPA and the energy ministry, aided by consultants and legal advisors, have overcome numerous technical details over the past couple of months to emerge with a finalized a plan entailing the gas company’s split into two firms, DEPA Infrastructure and DEPA Trade, as agreed to by the government and the country’s lenders for the gas utility’s privatization.

This DEPA plan will be presented to a team of post-bailout inspectors arriving in Athens this coming Monday.

The country’s two gas-sector privatizations – DEPA and DESFA gas grid operator – both appear to have made satisfactory progress. On the contrary, the ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) and main power utility PPC lignite unis sales have been dogged by delays.

DEPA and energy ministry officials have worked against the clock to finalize DEPA’s split plan, involving a highly complex distribution of assets, as related law needs to be ratified by October.

According to the DEPA split plan, a 50.1 percent stake of the trading firm is expected to be offered to investors while 14.9 percent, including veto rights, will be maintained by the Greek State, which is expected to retain a 51 percent stake in DEPA Infrastructure.

The DEPA privatization procedure is scheduled to begin between September or October.