Socar remains interested in DESFA deal, local chief declares

The Azeri energy company Socar remains interested in completing its long-delayed acquisition of a stake in DESFA, Greece’s gas grid operator, Anar Mammadov, managing director of its local subsidiary, Socar Energy Greece, announced today, responding to reports contending that the company was set to withdraw.

Azeri energy exports will increase drastically over the next few years as new deposits are being developed, the Socar official remarked, adding that the company’s objective is to ensure that supply will be carried out with fair access to networks. More control over networks will help achieve this objective.

Mammadov also stressed that a Greek plan to upgrade the country’s LNG terminal in Revythoussa, an islet in the Saronic Gulf, close to Athens, by adding a third storage tank, is of crucial importance for supply in the wider region.

Socar had originally agreed to acquire a 66 share of DESFA as the winning bidder of an international tender finalized in 2013, but must now surrender 17 percent following European Commission intervention over EU energy security and competition concerns.

Just weeks ago, it was reported that European candidates considering to take on the surrendered 17 percent were advised by consultants to avoid the move as a result of the risk factor surrounding investments in Greece and the possibility of regulatory revisions that would lessen the gas operator’s revenue potential.