Azeri gas network to be sold to foreign companies

Jul 19, 2004 02:00 AM

The Azerbaijani government has raised the price of natural gas by four times in order to make the country’s gas network attractive to foreign companies.
According to the report, the Ministry of Economic Development is currently conducting negotiations with potential buyers. Two Turkish and one Hong Kong company have expressed interest in the gas network.

Artur Rasizade, the Prime Minister, told that although the ordinary citizens have not welcomed the price raise, "there was no other way out of the current situation."
Rasizade said that the price of gas in Azerbaijan is much cheaper than what its costs. While the government pays $ 52 to import 1,000 cm of Russian gas, its sells it to customers for $ 7.5.

This means that the government loses $ 45 in every 1,000 cm of gas. It amounts to $ 200 mm in a year, said Rasizade.
A privatisation would help repair the old gas infrastructure and also find more effective ways to collect gas bills from customers.

Source: Baku Today
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