Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Yiannis Maniatis discussed the speeding up of the privatisation process of DESFA – Greece’s natural gas grid operator – at a meeting with European Commission Vice-President responsible for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic, on the sidelines of the Council of Energy Ministers held on December 8 and 9 in Brussels.
Maniatis said they discussed the approval of DESFA’s buyout from SOCAR by the European Commission’s competitiveness agency, as the Commission on November 5 requested a three-month allowance before it issues a decision on the deal’s compatibility with existing laws.
The minister said he requested a speeding up of the process because of DESFA’s role in strengthening energy security in Europe.
Maniatis, along with his Cyprus Republic counterpart Giorgos Lakkotrypis, met with Sefkovic as well on natural gas reserves in East Mediterranean and stressed the importance of the natural gas corridor (East-Med Corridor) involving Israel, Cyprus, the island of Crete, mainland Greece and Italy.
The corridor has a comparable capacity to that of the North Corridor (8-12 bcm) and can provide an alternative source and route in Europe, the two ministers said. The project at this time is at a point where the entity carrying out the feasibility study will soon be selected.
Maniatis further met with his Bulgarian and Romanian counterparts and all committed to building the first part of the Vertical Corridor (Greece-Bulgaria) that could potentially link the Aegean Sea with Baltic countries.