Ariadne Interconnection tender for minority stake approved

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, and the European Commission have approved a plan for a tender to offer a minority stake in power grid operator IPTO’s subsidiary firm Ariadne Interconnection, established specifically for the development of the Crete-Athens interconnection.

An initial plan for the sale of a 40 percent stake in Ariadne Interconnection is now expected to be lowered by IPTO, offering a reduced share, analysts believe.

The tender is likely to be announced by IPTO towards the end of the year, or possibly early in 2022. The procedure will be preceded by a roadshow pitching the tender and company that has taken on the Crete-Athens interconnection, a project budgeted at one billion euros.

Market officials believe the prospect of a minority stake in Ariadne Interconnection will most likely attract funds. China’s State Grid, holding a 24 percent stake in IPTO, has also expressed early interest.

The Crete-Athens interconnection project, currently in progress, is expected to be completed late in 2023 or early 2024.

It was originally planned as a segment of EuroAsia, a wider interconnection plan of PCI status to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli electricity grids, with EuroAsia, a consortium of Cypriot interests, at the helm. IPTO eventually withdrew the Crete-Athens segment for its development as a national project.