>>> The Romanian company is running until 2026 a number of nine development projects totaling 1.62 billion euros
By Edwig Ban
The authorities in Athens have received two bids for a 66% stake in the gas pipeline operator in Greece - DESFA. It is an essential sale for the continuation of the financial assistance program, the Greek Privatization Agency (HRDAF) announced on Friday.
The tenders were submitted by a consortium consisting of Snam (Italy), Enagas (Spain) and Fluxys (Belgium) and a Consortium composed of Spaniards from Regasificadora Del Noroeste (Reganosa), Romanians from Transgaz and EBRD.
According to the agreement, Greece's largest refinery - Hellenic Petroleum - sells its 35% stake in DESFA, the remaining 66% being sold by the Greek state.
DESFA, which owns and operates the gas pipeline network in Greece and a LNG terminal, is considered a valuable asset because gas consumption is rising in the Greek state, which wants to expand its presence in the regional energy market.
DESFA transports gas from the borders between Greece and Bulgaria and from the borders of Greece and Turkey to Greek consumers through a 1.459 km gas pipeline network.
The authorities in Athens want to get 3.5 billion euros from privatizations in 2018. The Greek state also wants to promote itself as a European hub for the transit of natural gas from Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe.
Last year, DESFA reported sales of 170 million euros and a net profit of 34 million euros. The value of its fixed assets is approximately 1.3 billion euros.
Transgaz Romania earned a net profit of over 602 million lei (over 130 million euros) on December 31, 2017, up 1.28% over the similar period of 2016, according to a company report released on Thursday the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB).
SNTGN Transgaz SA is the technical operator of the National Gas Transmission System, which carries over 90% of the natural gas consumed in Romania.
Transgaz Company is running a number of nine development projects totaling 1.62 billion euros by 2026, said Ion Sterian, general manager of the company, on the occasion of the event 10th anniversary of Transgaz's listing on the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB).
As part of the expansion in the region, Transgaz filed a bid on December 28, 2017 to buy Vestmoldtransgaz, the gas transportation company in the Republic of Moldova, which is responsible for the construction of the Iasi-Ungheni-Chisinau gas pipeline.
Another major project developed by Transgaz is the first phase of the BRUA gas pipeline, which will link Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria. The pipeline will have a length of 570 kilometers and will have three compressing stations of 10 MW each and a capacity of 1.75 billion cubic meters per year in bidirectional flow.
The second part of the BRUA project will ensure the transport of gas volumes from the Black Sea to Central Europe. Estimated costs are 69 million euros, and the deadline for completion is 2020. The project aims to increase BRUA capacity from 1.75 billion to 4.4 billion cubic meters per year to Hungary and the expansion of compression stations.
Other Transgaz projects relate to new developments for the take-over of gas from the Black Sea shore, worth more than 280 million euros.
Transgaz is working with ExxonMobil, which is on schedule but also with Black Sea Oil and Gas Company, which will begin production of gas in the Black Sea in the middle of 2019. As for the Neptun Deep project, ExxonMobil and OMV Petrom will take this year the final investment decision.