On February 29, 2012 the Greek Government announced the start of a bidding procedure for privatization of DEPA, the state-run gas company.
DEPA is focused on wholesale purchases, sales and supplies of natural gas to industrial consumers and households in Greece. At present, the Greek Republic owns a 65 per cent stake in the company and a 35 per cent stake is held by the domestic refining company Hellenic Petroleum.
“We have submitted a preliminary bid and are hoping that we will pass the qualification process. The price we will offer will be completely real, we will not overpay,” deputy chairman Alexander Medvedev said Saturday.
About 20 companies are expected to make bids by Thursday with a final selection to be revealed in early August.
Gazprom‘s interest in acquiring DEPA could be part of a strategic move to influence the development of a Southern Corridor gas conduit connecting Europe with the vast reserves of the Caspian Sea — a move aimed at lessening the European Union’s dependence on Russian supplies.
The Southern Corridor aims to tap up to 30 billion cubic meters of gas annually from Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and other possible sources to provide the EU nations with more stable and cheaper alternative to Gazprom.
The buyer of DEPA could exert a big influence of over its development, analysts say.
From Russia’s Gazprom bids for Greek utility DEPA – AFP