New DESFA tender announcements, launch expected soon

Pundits keeping a close watch on the new DESFA (natural gas grid operator) sale attempt, required following the recent demise of the initial effort, expect the energy ministry to announce the details of the new international tender offering a 66 percent stake within the next few weeks.

The ministry has so far kept details under wraps but announcements are believed to be imminent. The new DESFA tender is expected to be launched within February as a fast-track process that could be completed over a period of seven to eight months.

The procedure’s two stages, entailing the expression of interest by prospective bidders followed by their binding offers, will be swifter than usual compared to other tenders staged by TAIPED, the state privatization fund.

If all goes according to plan, the preferred bidder for DESFA’s 66 percent stake could be announced in December or January, 2018, following the endorsement of a special committee.

In comments made to energypress, one official involved in the process expects the new tender to fetch less than the 400 million-euro offer made by the Azerbaijani energy firm Socar for 66 percent of DESFA in the first tender.