TAP buys DESFA’s share
The fact that the consortium for construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) won the tender of Greece's gas grid operator DESFA will strengthen the positions of TAP and the Southern Gas Corridor projects a route for the supply of Azerbaijani gas to Europe, the energy experts said, speaking with the correspondents of Vestnik Kavkaza.
Yesterday, the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) has unanimously accepted the improved financial offer of the consortium composed of the companies Snam S.p.A.(60%), Enagás Internacional S.L.U. (20%) and Fluxys S.A. (20%). The financial offer of the consortium for acquisition of 66% share stands at 535 million euros.
A senior research fellow at the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Research Associate at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies Gulmira Rzayeva expressed her confidence in the positive impact of this event on the prospects of the Southern Gas Corridor project. "Since all three member companies of the consortium are the TAP shareholders, it will allow to transport gas from the Shah Deniz gas field to Greece without hindrance, as well as to the Gas Interconnector Greece - Bulgaria (IGB)," she said in the first place.
"In addition, if there are additional volumes of gas from other sources, for example, LNG or gas from the Mediterranean region, the consortium led by Snam can transport this gas through Greece to the TAP pipeline, and then export them to, fore example, Italy, Bulgaria, to the Western Balkans via the IAP pipeline. It may increase the TAP's economic attractiveness and increase the margin in case of full filling of the pipe and increase its capacity. Of course, it is possible only if there is enough market niches and prices supporting new projects," Gulmira Rzayeva emphasized.
The expert Rovshan Ibrahimov also pointed to the importance of the acquisition of DESFA by the shareholders of TAP. "It is in the interests of these companies to implement the TAP project and start supplying natural gas from Azerbaijan to Europe in a stable manner. It should be noted here that even in those days when SOCAR planned to buy DESFA, there were long-term projects for the development of the oil and gas network in Greece, and now the consortium will do it. I think that this is a positive event for the interests of Greece, for the interests of the consortium of TAP builders and for Azerbaijan," he said.
"The only question that arises is whether Snam, Enagas and Fluxys, given the amount they will pay for DESFA's 66% share, will be able to cover their expenses and start earning in the expected period. I would like to remind you that SOCAR refused to buy DESFA because the Greek government and parliament made new decisions in connection with natural gas prices within the Greek market. I hope that in-depth financial calculations were made, according to which it was decided that 66% of DESFA for 535 million euros is profitable acquisition," Rovshan Ibrahimov added.
TAP is the most important part of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), a multinational European Commission project to transfer gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz Gas Field in the Caspian Sea to European markets. The TAP will span 773 km onshore (550 km in Greece, 215 km in Albania and 8 km in Italy) and 105 km offshore. TAP's shareholders are: BP (20%), State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (20%), Snam (20%), Fluxys (19%), Enagas (16%) and Axpo (5%).