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Dec 06, 2007 12:21 EEST
December 6 (SeeNews) - A new gas transmission company that would unite gas pipelines in central and southeastern Europe could be set up and become operational in two years, Hungarian oil and gas group MOL said.
"If multi-party consultations can start early next year and then be taken forward satisfactorily, we believe the joint business entity could become operational within 24 months," MOL spokeswoman Catalina Roman said in a statement sent to SeeNews late on Wednesday.
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MOL said on Wednesday it has invited gas transmission companies from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Austria to discuss the setting up of a new and independent regional gas transmission company under joint ownership and management.
The new company would have a pipeline network of 27,000 kilometres. The joint entity would have better access to the international capital markets for the future financing of major European-scale projects, MOL has said.
Bosnian gas distributor BH Gas's director Almir Becarevic has told SeeNews his company would participate in such a discussion. Serbia's gas monopoly Srbijagas and the country's Energy Ministry have told SeeNews they cannot comment on the proposal as they have not received an invitation for talks from MOL yet. The other companies have still not answered SeeNews requests for comment.
The proposed talks would seek to address how ownership and management of the company could be divided amongst the participants and whether the new company could increase its capital base through an Initial Public Offering (IPO).
Southeastern Europe is increasingly looking for other suppliers to diversify its energy sources and diminish its dependence on Russian energy supplies.
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