DESFA sale collapse to delay DEPA, ELPE privatizations

Besides requiring the launch of a new tender and depriving the country’s privatization coffer of 188 milllion euros, last week’s eventual collapse of the long-running DESFA sale attempt will also prompt delays to the interlinked DEPA (Public Power Corporation) amd ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) sales.

DESFA is a wholly owned DEPA subsidiary, while ELPE holds a 35 percent stake in the natural gas grid operator. This essentially means that privatization matters concerning DESFA need to be cleared up before sales at DEPA and ELPE can take place.

A 65 percent stake of DEPA held by TAIPED, the State Privatization Fund, can only be sold once the DESFA sale has been finalized and the transaction’s value is deducted from DEPA’s net worth. Such a development would facilitate DEPA’s proper evaluation. Otherwise it will remain unclear as to what exactly is being sold when DEPA goes up for sale.

A swift DESFA tender relaunch and fast sale developments along the lines of PPC’s tender launched for IPTO, the power grid operator, would take some strain off the government, battling to find solutions for the heavy privatizations agenda. The IPTO tender was launched in July and a prefered bidder named late in October.

If the DESFA sale process ends up moving slowly, a further 12 months may be required before any results are achieved.

TAIPED, as a result of the slow-moving energy sector privatizations, has apparently avoided scheduling any new tender announcements.