Azeri firm joins race for Ankara gas grid

Azeri firm joins race for Ankara gas grid

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Azeri firm joins race for Ankara gas grid

Azeri Energy Minister Natik Aliev (L) and his Turkish counterpart Taner Yıldız attend the signing ceremony of The Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline project in Ankara Dec 26, 2011. REUTERS photo

Azerbaijan’s state-run natural gas company, Socar, has obtained authorization documents to bid for the privatization of Başkent Doğalgaz, Ankara’s natural-gas grid, according to daily Milliyet.

Turkey’s Privatization Administration (ÖİB) has put 80 percent of the natural-gas grid out to tender for privatization after being unable to do so last year. The deadline to place bids is Jan. 27.

Spanish firms interested

Prominent domestic conglomerates and holdings, such as Sabancı, Koç and STFA, as well as many other foreign companies, including Spanish firms, are interested in the tender, officials from the Economy Ministry had earlier told Reuters.

ÖİB attempted to privatize 80 percent of Başkent Doğalgaz in July 2011. The bidding deadline – Oct. 31, 2011 – was postponed until Jan. 27 following requests from the potential bidders. The bidding deadline for the privatization of the remaining shares of the natural-gas grid will be Feb. 16.
MMEKA, a venture between Mehmet Emin Karamehmet and Emin Kazancı, placed a winning bid of 1.2 billion for 80 percent of the natural-gas grid, but the tender was canceled because the venture failed to make payments on time.