Six Compete for 66% Desfa Stake
Six companies and consortium are among bidders to acquire 66% of Greece's gas transmission system operator Desfa, the country's privatisation agency (HRADF / Taiped) announced August 7.
They are Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (Europe); two rival consortia of European gas grid operators namely Snam-Enagas-Fluxys-Gasunie on the one hand and the duo of France's GRTgaz and Romanian state Transgaz on the other; Reganosa which operates the Ferrol LNG import terminal in northwest Spain; North America's Integrated Utility Services (Intus); and Qatar’s Powerglobe all expressed interests and filed non-binding bids.
Three of four companies involved in one consortium (Italy's Snam, Spain's Enagas, and Belgian Fluxys) are existing shareholders in the Trans Adriatic pipeline that will bring gas from Shah Deniz 2 field in Caspian to Europe and which will work in close cooperation with Desfa.
HRADF advisors will evaluate the proposed investment schemes and submit to its board of directors their recommendation regarding the candidates that qualify for the next phase of the tender, the fund said.
The new tender offering 66% of Desfa was announced June 26; it followed the collapse of efforts in late 2016 to bring in a working partner for Azerbaijan’s state-owned Socar, which won an earlier tender for the state's 66% stake in Desfa. Greek refiner Hellenic Petroleum owns the other 34%.
The six parties announced August 7 now have access to the sale procedure’s data room, which offers corporate details about Desfa. Greek energy minister Giorgos Stathakis said July 31, during his visit to Desfa headquarters, that the previous tender set a benchmark, signaling to potential investors that bids should not be any lower than €400mn offered by Socar in the first tender. Hellenic Petroleum has made similar comments.
LNG terminal upgrade
Desfa plans to build a new berthing facility at its LNG terminal on Revithoussa, an islet off Athens, and also upgrade the unit’s existing pier, aiming to improve gas supply to the domestic market and also contribute to a plan to establish Greece as a hub for gas supply in the wider Balkan region.
These projects will greatly improve LNG transmissions via road networks and sea routes to regions not covered by distribution networks for supply to industrial consumers, Desfa said.
The Revithoussa upgrade will enable vessels to load at the LNG terminal and supply other vessels at Piraeus port as well as distribution to gas storage facilities at coastal mainland areas and the islands.
Separately, Gastrade is planning a floating LNG import facility in northern Greece that it hopes will provide synergies to TAP pipeline users.