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The end of Greek natural gas monopoly

03 September 2009 / 09:09:38  GRReporter
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On Tuesday the Ministry of Finances announced the start of restructuring and partial privatization of the gas monopoly - DEPA in the country.

The government has decided to divide into a separate business the daughter firm of DEPA - the gas transport operator DESFA, which will become a public organization. The statement from the government says that the gas transporting system of the country will become a state property, as far as it reflects the political interests. The already existing structure is an important strategic instrument in foreign and developing politics. According to authorities, this will guarantee that Greece will be a regional energy supplier.

Together with this, the partial privatization of the monopoly firm DEPA will attract investors and will contribute to the state budget, which is of extreme importance in a period of crisis. Besides this, the company will be required to pay off part of the capital to all stock holders.

The Ministry of Finances announced they are looking for a strategic investor for DEPA. For now 65% of the company's stocks belong to the state and 35% - to Hellenic Petroleum. The profit of the company for 2008 was €120,5 million.

Meanwhile a development is expected regarding the "South stream" topic - the gas pipeline system, which will connect Russia to countries in the EU. It is planned that the transport will pass through the Black Sea. The length will be 900km and the depth - more than 2 km.

"South stream" is believed to be a competitor of the "Nabucco pipeline" project, which is supported by the US and several other European countries. What decision will be taken? This we are about to find out but Greek experts insist on finding a quick solution, because no one want the crisis from last winter to repeat. The obstacles for the "Bourgas-Alexandroupolis" project, which connects Bulgaria and Greece, are ecological. The decision is in the hands of experts.

Dilyana Ivanova

 

Tags: NewsEconomyCompanies Natural gas pipeline Greece Bulgaria Russia
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