Greece: Privatizations main focus for Ministry of Energy, SEE Energy News
The seven privatization projects that the Ministry is managing are those of the two natural gas companies, DEPA Infrastructure and DEPA Trade, as well as oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), electricity transmission system operator ADMIE, electricity distribution system operator DEDDIE, the underground natural gas storage facility at Kavala and the General Mining and Metallurgical Company (Larco). They account for no less than two-thirds of the national privatizations program, for which the state privatization fund TAIPED has recorded a shortfall of 2 billion euros from the revenues budgeted due to the impact of the pandemic.
Greek Ministry of Energy and Environment is looking to accelerate the process of energy-related privatizations, giving priority to those concerning energy networks as they are not affected by the drop in stock values. The course of those projects will to a great extent determine the success of the overall program of privatizations that the Greek Government has committed to.
The timetables of even the most mature privatization projects, such as those of DEPA Infrastructure and DEPA Trade, have been pushed back, and a dynamic restart is now being attempted so that they can be completed by the first quarter of 2021.
The Government is seeking to begin the process for the part-privatization of DEDDIE by November. Through the sell-off, owner Public Power Corporation (PPC) will concede at least 49 % of DEDDIE plus increased management rights to a strategic investor. The aim will be to attract not only institutional but also strategic investors that will be able to support investments that are necessary for the modernization of the grid.
At the same time the Government will try to find some common ground with State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), the stakeholder in ADMIE, so as to proceed with the entry of a third investor in the operator.
By the end of September, the Ministry will announce any initial interest in underground gas storage project at Kavala, while in October it will start the privatization for Larco. ELPE privatization project has been postponed for now due to the pandemic’s impact on its stock price.