Azerbaijani state company, SOCAR, has purchased 22 small companies, which are distributing gas in Georgia’s provincial regions, according to the Georgian Economy Ministry.
The agreement was signed on December 26 by Georgian Economy Minister Lasha Zhvania and Director General of SOCAR-Georgia Davit Zubitashvili.
As a result of the deal, the company has received gas distributing companies in Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Kakheti, Imereti, Shida Kartli, Kvemo Kartli, Samegrelo, Guria and Adjara regions.
The Economy Ministry has declined to disclose sum of the deal. It, however, said that according to the agreement the Azeri company will invest USD 40 million within three years in gas network infrastructure in the regions and carry out gasification of 150,000 households.
The Economy Ministry has announced expression of interest on gas distributing companies few months ago.
Initial price of networks set by the ministry was: in the Kakheti region – USD 1.7 million; in Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Shida Kartli and Kvemo Kartli regions – USD 3 million; in Imereti region – USD 1.3 million; in Samegrelo and Guria regions – USD 2 million; in Adjara Autonomous Republic – USD 2 million.
The gas distribution company in Tbilisi is owned by the Kazakh state-owned KazMunaiGas.