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FACTDROP: CEO of Sintez Group: 'Greece’s transformation into a natural gas transit hub for Europe'


CEO of Sintez Group: 'Greece’s transformation into a natural gas transit hub for Europe'

Πηγή: Natural Gas Europe
Jan 29 2013

The CEO of Sintez Group, Andrey Korolev, provides us his views and comments regarding the participation of Sintez's subsidiary Company Negusneft in the privatization competition for the Greek natural gas companies DEPA & DESFA.

He answers on the key questions surrounding this privatization, especially competition issues, corporate challenges and considerations, along with Negusneft’s future intention regarding the Greek natural gas market.

"If we win the DEPA/DESFA auction we will be committed to comply in full with EU energy regulation"

What are the general intentions regarding Negusneft's participation in the DEPA-DESFA privatization process, and more specifically, how does your company view the prospects of the Greek natural gas market?

“We believe that DEPA and DESFA are high-quality assets that can play a meaningful role inGreece’s transformation into a natural gas transit hub for Europe. This development would clearly be of benefit to the Greek economy through diversifying Europe’s gas supply options and ultimately bringing gas prices to a more competitive level, with lower energy prices being a key element of any long term economic recovery. As a long-term player in the Balkan’s energy market, SINTEZ wants to play a role in that transformation.

DEPA and DESFA are a natural fit with SINTEZ Group’s existing business assets in the Balkans, namely our combined cycle heat and power project in Skopje, which we have already been in talks with Greece about connecting to DEPA via a Greece-Skopje interconnector project. There are a number of additional infrastructure-related opportunities that make DEPA and DESFA a strong platform for growth in the region.

The challenges that Greece is currently facing cannot last forever. Having operated for 25 years in the former Soviet Union and countries such as Namibia and Indonesia, our company is quite adept to working in such challenging and transitional environments.”

What is your opinion regarding any challenges you may have experienced as a company during the privatization process thus far and how do you assess your communication and cooperation with the Greek authorities?

“We are pleased that the HRADF (Privatization agency) recently has commenced the final round of the privatization of DEPA and DESFA, albeit later than was originally announced. Now, shortlisted companies, including SINTEZ subsidiary Negusneft, will have access to the data room and necessary documentation in order to put together a comprehensive binding offer for DEPA and DESFA.”

It would be of great interest to note from you, around the future projects or strategy by your company in relation to DEPA-DESFA. How do you see a potential partnership unfolding and what may be your investment plans for these companies?

“Clearly, the transformation of Greece into a gas transit hub for Europe will require a great deal of investment for new infrastructure. However, it goes without saying that the development of the Greek gas market will be beneficial for the country, as it can create new jobs and, more importantly, diversify natural gas supplies into the country, thereby spurring competition and having a positive effect on gas prices in the region.”

With regards to another issue that has recently gained prominence in the EU and Greece, that is the competition rules as implemented by Brussels and the compliance of natural gas companies with the Thrid Energy Package. In your view, does this affect your company in relation with its intentions to bid for both DEPA & DESFA?
“SINTEZ Group is an independent company and we do not have the conflicts of interests as with some other bidders, who are state-owned gas producers. If we win the DEPA/DESFA auction we will be committed to comply in full with EU energy regulation, while at the same time diversifying gas supplies and investing in infrastructure to transform Greece into a natural gas transit hub. We remain confident that given our strategic focus on the Balkans and relevant sector expertise, SINTEZ Group is the right fit to further develop DEPA and DESFA.”


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