New DESFA tender negotiated, 51% retainment indefinite

The Greek government is preparing to stage a new international tender for DESFA, the natural gas grid operator, following the recent collapse of a previous sale procedure offering 66 percent, but the stake to be offered this time around remains undecided, energy ministry officials informed today.

Negotiations concerning this detail are currently in progress with the country’s creditor representatives, the energy ministry officials informed, adding that no less than a 31 percent share, the stake now under the control of TAIPED, the state privatization fund, will go up for sale.

The government is seeking a formula that may enable it to retain a 51 percent stake of DESFA for the Greek State, along the lines of the ongoing sale of IPTO, the power grid operator.

Just weeks ago, energypress sources said the new DESFA sale would not be launched before the first quarter of 2017.

In keeping with EU regulations, the new procedure will need to forbid enterprises operating both as producers and traders of natural gas from acquiring a majority stake of DESFA. The buyer will also need to be a certified European network operator.