Until 30 September 2016 the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (Socar) is waiting for proposals from the Greek government for conflict settlement on privatization of DESFA gas distribution network.
Socar´s CEO Rovnag Abdullayev informed that if changes of tender procedure contravene the law, it will make the DESFA privatization meaningless, but we are waiting for explanations and proposals until the end of September.
He has not specified what measures may be taken by Socar in case of any dissatisfaction with the reaction of Greek side.
It should be noted that on 30 September 2016 it will a deadline of guarantee letter on transaction of acquisition of 66% DESFA assets by Socar. The term of this letter has been already extended, but due to new government of Greece there are more and more problems with DESFA privatization. Italian Company Snam has joined the negotiations, which pretends to 17% of 66% Socar’s assets.
Socar agreed to buy 66% of Desfa for $446 mln after winning an international tender in 2013.
After being ordered by the European Commission to surrender a 17% share to a certified European operator, Socar agreed to resell part of its 66% to Italy’s Snam.
«The operator’s market value has been reduced and the risk level has increased, which is why we expect specific moves from the Greek side in order to cover the damages caused,» said Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Greece Rahman Mustafaev.
The sources hinted that if the deal was abandoned, the Greek government, which inherited the Desfa sale from the country’s previous administration, will need another grid operator sale plan, based on the IPTO (power grid operator) sale now in progress.