SOCAR plans to own one more gas-distributing network in Georgia

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 25 /Trend Capita, E. Ismayilov/ A total of 30 Georgian gas-distributing networks are fully owned by the SOCAR Energy Georgia, company's head Mahir Mammadov said. The SOCAR Energy Georgia is a subsidiary of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR).

In late October, SOCAR Energy Georgia and the Georgian government signed an agreement which enabled the company to own 30 gas-distributing networks which covers Kakheti, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Shida, Kvemo Kartli, Ajaria, Guriya, Imereti and Samegrelo.

"We have completed document preparation procedures," Mammadov said.

The project aims to increase number of users of the 30 gas-distributing networks 45,000 up to 195,000. The number of users is expected to increase 36,000 at the early stage.  

Around $40 million will be invested in the project; 3 $million has already been invested.

"The investments will be spent to purchase metallic and plastic pipelines, to prolong infrastructure projects in Ajaria. The gas supply process in Ajaria began in mid-2008. We have given certain project instructions in the regions," Mammadov said.  

He said SOCAR Energy Georgia has completed talks with a foreign company to buy gas-distributing networks in Marneuli, densely populated by Azerbaijanis.

"This region is very important for us as it is populated by Azerbaijanis," Mamamdov said. He did not disclose foreign company's name.

"Earlier this company [current owner of networks] bought as from the SOCAR and sold in Marneuli, he said. "Now we will fully supply the region with gas".

"We have completed talks. The lawyers are working. We will sign an agreement in March," Mammadov said.

Purchase, development and management of these gas-distributing networks are not included in the $40 million project.

"From commercial viewpoint, this is a good deal. We have got familiar with technical indicators of these systems. We have designed business plan to manage them. It is early to say how much we will invest. But it will certainly be more than $3 million," Mammadov said.

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