DESFA recoverable amount period cut to 12 from 18 years

DESFA, the natural gas grid operator, stands to receive a recoverable amount concerning 2006 to 2015 over a 12-year period instead of 18 years, as initially required by law, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has decided following talks with the administrations of the operator, TAIPED, the state privatization fund, and ELPE, Hellenic Petroleum, energypress sources have informed.

The payback period’s considerable contraction promises to further boost the favorable conditions being generated ahead of the second and final round of bidding in a renewed DESFA tender offering a 66 percent stake, expected in December.

The tender’s two remaining contenders – a four-member investment team comprised of Italy’s Snam, Spain’s Enagas, Belgium’s Fluxys and Dutch operator Gasunie, as well as Spain’s Regasificadora del Noroeste, bidding alone – have pushed for greater emphasis of the payback period’s servicing during its earlier years.

As a result of this latest RAE decision, the payback period, beginning in 2018, will stretch to 2030 rather than 2036, as was originally planned. DESFA stands to receive 220 million euros over the 12-year period, equally divided into annual amounts of at least 18.3 million euros.

The recoverable sum actually amounts to 320 million euros but 100 million euros of this will be covered through extra revenues generated by DESFA’s overperformance in 2017 and anticipated overperformance in 2018, reducing the figure to 220 million euros.

Bidders for DESFA’s 66 percent are expected to make loftier offers as a result of the favorable developments at the operator.

DESFA’s first-half profit is reportedly up 87 percent, while the operator’s management believes the end-of-year profit figure could reach as much as 90 million, well above the 32 million-euro profit posted last year.

Also favorable for DESFA, the operator’s cash resources have risen to approximately 170 million euros from 145 million euros last December.

Shareholders received dividends representing 50 percent of profit in 2016. The board is examining handing our dividends that may exceed 80 percent of profit this year.