Representatives from Italian firms SNAM are expected to arrive in Athens for talks with the Greek government over the privatization of the national gas transmission system operator (DESFA).

According to a report in Ta Nea, the Italian firm appears to have reached an agreement with SOCAR to purchase 17% of DESFA along with the company management, while the Azeri company acquires 49% and remains a passive shareholder, as requested by the European Commission.

In recent months though SOCAR has been reluctant to move forward with the privatization, with the Ministry of Environment and Energy offering the Italian company a greater stake in DESFA.

According to this scenarion, SNAM may acquire about 30%, while the Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) company seems content with holding onto 35% of DESFA. There is also a possibility of Belgian company Fluxis getting involved, as it had previously expressed an interest.