DEPA Commercial VDR expected to open for bidders by end of week

A virtual data room offering financial and technical information concerning the privatization of DEPA Commercial, an offshoot of gas utility DEPA, will be opened to prospective bidders by the end of this week, sources have informed.

A final meeting between DEPA Commercial’s administration and privatization fund TAIPED may be staged today or tomorrow before the VDR is opened up for investors.

The sale of DEPA Commercial, expected to be fiercely contested by the country’s major energy players, should produce a result by December, according to an updated TAIPED schedule for its Asset Development Plan. This plan has already been approved by KYSOIP, the Government Council for Economic Policy.

A VDR for DEPA’s other privatization, DEPA Infrastracture, was opened in late August. Despite its earlier launch, binding offers are expected sooner for DEPA Commercial, whose conclusion has been scheduled for January, 2021 by TAIPED.

Well-informed sources have attributed this differing pace of schedules to a more complex sale procedure demanded for DEPA Infrastructure, requiring intervention by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy. In addition, EU authorities will need to provide certification, needed for transfers of distribution networks and energy transmission systems.

For the time being, all of the country’s energy players are expected to gain access into the DEPA Commercial VDR as a first step before deciding on whether to place binding bids. Partnerships could be sought.




Challenges of revised NECP, sent to Brussels, ‘will be met’

The lofty challenges of Greece’s revised National Energy and Climate Plan, delivered to the European Commission yesterday following its endorsement late last week by KYSOIP, the Government Council for Economic Policy, will be met, the government’s energy deputy has stressed.

“The preparation of the plan has been done and the challenge of achieving the ambitious goals it envisages stands before us,” noted Deputy Energy Minister Gerassimos Thomas. “We are ready to respond to this challenge and contribute to the extent needed for us to achieve European objectives for a major reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and their elimination by 2050,” he added.

New aspects related to matters including spatial, bioclimatic and urban planning, were incorporated to the finalized NECP version following 168 comments submitted to the website during public consultation as well as proposals and observations submitted to the energy ministry, it announced in a statement.

The NECP, establishing decarbonization as a top priority, includes a detailed schedule on the planned withdrawal of power utility PPC’s lignite-fired power stations. All existing lignite units are planned to be withdrawn by 2023.

In its renewable energy section, the NECP highlights the significant role to be played by hydropower energy and, especially, projects with reservoirs, as well as the importance of implementing pilot projects that will lead to RES sector coupling.

Hydropower objectives elevated slightly for finalized NECP

Greece’s finalized new National Energy and Climate Plan, whose final touches are being added today at the energy ministry ahead of an inspection tomorrow by KYSOIP, the Government Council for Economic Policy, will feature slightly increased objectives for the hydropower and pumped storage sectors, sources have informed.

Certain revisions to the NECP’s details on geothermal production, other RES technologies, the decarbonization plan, and networks will also be made, the sources added.

The mass withdrawal, by 2023, of all existing lignite-fired power stations, exclusively operated by the power utility PPC, is a key feature of the new NECP.

So, too, is a decision to offer investors a solid minority stake in distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO, a PPC subsidiary, instead of a majority stake, as was previously contemplated.

On the hydropower target revisions, the NECP will set an installed capacity target of 3.4 GW by 2020 and 3.7 GW by 2030.

Once past KYSOIP tomorrow, Greece’s new NECP will immediately be forwarded to the European Commission.

Energy savings, primarily concerning a reduction of the environmental impact of buildings and vehicles, will be crucial if the NECP’s ambitious RES targets are to be achieved.


Hydrocarbon licensing changes avoided ahead of Crete tender

The government has softened its stance on an intention to implement hydrocarbon sector revisions that could offer investors production sharing agreements rather than leasing agreements for new tenders.

Governmemt officials fear that such changes to the licensing system would undermine the prospects of future tenders, including an imminent effort aiming to offer investors blocks off Crete. This upcoing effort has drawn the attention of international oil industry giants such as ExxonMobil and Total.

KYSOIP, the Government Council for Economic Policy, which yesterday endorsed a hydrocarbon sector modernization plan forwarded by energy minister Giorgos Stathakis, decided to keep the current licensing model unchanged – at least for the time being.

The minister’s modernization plan will aim to reduce the amount of time needed by authorities to issue exploration and exploitation licenses.

Though any imminent hydrocarbon leasing model changes should not be expected following yesterday’s KYSOIP decision, future revisions, which would make the Greek State a partner in oil exploration and exploitation ventures, along the lines of models applied in African, Latin American and Central Asian countries, cannot be ruled out.

Energy ministry planning key hydrocarbon sector changes

The energy ministry plans to make revisions to the legal framework concerning the country’s hydrocarbon sector, the intention being to swiften procedures for tenders offering exploration and exploitation licenses, bolster the operating ability of  EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, and, possibly, change the sector’s concession model. The ministry’s plan is expected to be presented tomorrow at KYSOIP, the Government Council for Economic Policy.

The ministry aims to implement its revisions by the end of the year so as to avoid major delays experienced in the past.

According to the energy ministry’s plan, EDEY is expected to be reshaped as a more flexible enterprise, which would simplify hiring procedures for specialized personnel, needed to take on an anticipated greater workload. EDEY is planning to stage a series of new tenders.

The existing framework allows for lease agreements and production sharing agreements, both standard systems in the global industry. To date, all exploration and exploitation deals signed in Greece have been based on lease agreements.

The government wants to increase its involvement, thereby increasing its share of the investment risk and, by extension, potential benefits. The market’s response to these prospective changes remains to be seen.