European Commission clears the participation of the Hellenic Natural Gas Transmission System Operator S.A. (DESFA) in the shareholding scheme of Gastrade

1 December, 2021

Another important milestone for the project of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Alexandroupolis, was achieved yesterday after the decision of the European Commission to approve the acquisition of joint control of Gastrade by the Hellenic Natural Gas Transmission System Operator SA. (DESFA), i.e., the participation in the shareholding scheme of the company together with Mrs. Asimina-Eleni Copelouzou, DEPA Commercial S.A., GasLog Cyprus Investments Ltd and Bulgartransgaz EAD of Bulgaria.

More specifically, the European Commission, under the European Union Merger Regulation (EU Merger Regulation), approved the above acquisition of joint control, concluding that this acquisition would not raise competition concerns.

The Commission’s rationale took into account the presence of competing gas import infrastructures as well as the Greek regulations in place, including those concerning the tariffs to be charged by LNG terminals and those laying down access obligations to LNG terminals and to DESFA’s transmission system.

The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure.
DESFA owns, operates, maintains, manages, exploits and develops the National Natural Gas System in Greece.

It is reminded that the implementation of the project ” Alexandroupolis Independent Natural Gas System (INGS)”, has been included in the Operational Program of the NSRF “Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation 2014-2020” with an approved grant of 166.7 million Euros.

For this success, the CEO of Gastrade, Mr. Konstantinos Spyropoulos, noted that “Our strategic planning for a major project of National and European importance, is evolving as expected. I remind you that this project supports the transformation of Northern Greece into a Gas Hub for the whole of SE Europe, since the gasified LNG from the Alexandroupolis terminal will be transported to the markets of Greece, Bulgaria and the wider region, from Romania, Serbia and North Macedonia, to Moldova and Ukraine. It is a culmination of a long-term and well-prepared design that will contribute to the expansion of sources and routes of gas supply, to the promotion of competition for the benefit of the final consumer, to the security of supply of Greece and the Balkan countries, to the improvement of reliability and flexibility of the National Natural Gas System as well as the Regional and Trans-European Systems but also in the strengthening of the environmental objectives of the country”.

Shareholding scheme:

Gastrade S.A. studies, designs, constructs, operates and exploits the necessary infrastructure for the receipt, transmission and distribution of natural gas as well as for its storage, liquefaction or gasification in a safe, adequate, reliable and cost-effective manner.

Ms. Asimina – Eleni Copelouzou is the founding shareholder of Gastrade S.A.

GasLog Cyprus Investments Ltd. is a 100% subsidiary of Gaslog Ltd which owns or/and operates more than 35 LNG carriers.

DEPA Commercial S.A. (DEPA S.A.) is active in the supply, wholesale and retail trade of natural gas as well as in the energy market in general.

Bulgartransgaz EAD (BTG) is the operator of the Bulgarian National Natural Gas Transmission and Storage System.