TAIPED: Contract on regional airport privatization to be signed within ten days

State privatization fund TAIPED said on Tuesday it is aiming to draw between 2 and 3 billion euros next year from the various projects in its portfolio. It is now facing a crucial two-week period that includes the agreement for the concession of the country’s regional airports and the new deadline for Piraeus Port bids.

TAIPED chief Stergios Pitsiorlas told reporters, “It is possible we can reach 3 billion euros… as the starting point of 1.2 billion euros from the airports deal is already high.”

On Tuesday the government postponed the deadline for the submission of binding offers for a 51 percent stake in Piraeus Port Authority in what will be the first sell-off project the SYRIZA-Independent Greeks is set to implement from start to finish, as all other project agreements had been signed before 2015. The new delay came as no surprise to the bidders, as the consultation on the share purchase agreement and the shareholders’ agreement is still pending.

Pitsiorlas noted that the tenders for the port authorities of Piraeus and Thessaloniki will have to be completed in the first half of 2016.

The TAIPED head also estimated that the process for the transfer of a controlling stake in gas transmission network operator DESFA to Azeri state firm Socar is close to completion, with the final agreement expected within the first quarter of 2016. He announced that Wednesday will see the start of the due diligence process for Fluxys, Enagas and Snam, the firms that have expressed an interest in a 16 percent stake in DESFA.

The date for the submission of binding offers for railway companies Trainose and Rosco has also been extended. Originally the deadline was meant to be in December, then in mid-January, and now TAIPED said this is has been moved to mid-February.

Pitsiorlas further promised a swift renegotiation of the agreement signed by TAIPED and Lamda Development for the plot of the old Athens airport at Elliniko, saying that a new and tight timetable for the implementation of the development is required.

The contract for the operating concession of 14 regional airports, including that on Zakynthos (pictured), to German firm Fraport will be signed in the next 10 days and will be “a very good contract,” Pitsiorlas stated.