4 September 2002 – Athens issued bid terms for the sale of up to 35 per cent of the country’s main natural gas supplier, Greek Public Gas Company (Depa) on 2 September.

Interested parties will have until the end of the month to submit non-binding bids. Depa’s customers include Public Power Corporation (PPC), regional gas suppliers, wholesalers and retail customers.

Depa was created in 1988 in an attempt to diversify the primary energy supply by increasing the role of natural gas. Depa is 35 per cent owned by Hellenic Petroleum, with the Greek government owning the rest. In April 2002, plans were announced to sell off 35 per cent of the government’s share of Depa, with possible buyers including Russia’s Gazprom, Germany’s Ruhrgas, and Algeria’s Sonatrach. Eventually, the plan is for DEPA to be only minority-owned by the state.

This is the first of several major privatizations planned by the Greek government, which will include the oil company, Helpe and 15% of the state power utility DEH. Advisors to the Greek state on the Depa sale are J.P.Morgan , National Bank of Greece and EFG Eurobank.