Lebedev gas license bid for north facing DEDA obstacle

An application submitted by Sintez Energy Europe Constructing Limited, a Cyprus-based subsidiary controlled by Russian entrepreneur Leonid Lebedev, for a gas distribution license covering Greece’s Serres, Veria and Kilkis areas in the north, currently being processed by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is likely to stumble as a result of plans envisioned by DEDA, a DEPA (Public Gas Corporation) spin-off, in these markets.

DEDA, an enterprise established recently following DEPA’s step back from the country’s gas networks, appears to have already secured distribution rights in these parts of northern Greece. DEDA included the Serres, Veria and Kilkis areas in a five-year development plan submitted to RAE.

As a result, DEDA’s plan to develop distribution networks in these three regions will most likely stop other firms from being granted gas disttribution licenses here – unless RAE deems that DEDA does not possess sufficient funds to actualize the business plan it has submitted.

Sintez Energy Europe Constructing Limited, reportedly being represented by a local law firm headed by Eleni Tzouli, wife of Greece’s defense minister Panos Kammenos, is seeking a 50-year license for distribution of CNG and LNG.

DEDA has been tasked with developing, expanding and activating natural gas networks in regions not covered by the parent company DEPA’s existing ventures serving the wider Athens area, Thessaly and Thessaloniki.

This latest move by Lebedev represents his third enrepreneurial initiave in the Greek market. Previously, Sintez Green Energy Hellas applied for a natural gas supply license, which, according to sources, has been granted by RAE. In addition, Windows International Hellas, another Lebedev-linked venture, is seeking to construct a natural gas pipeline to transmit gas from Thessaloniki to Fyrom (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). Though the licence bid for this project has yet to be examined, it seems to be better positioned, in terms of maturity, than an equivalent project plan submitted by DESFA, the natural gas grid operator.