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Oct 17, 2007 12:49 EEST
October 17 (SeeNews) - Serbia's oil monopoly Naftna Industrija Srbije (NIS) said on Thursday it has completed a 1.5 million euro ($2.1 million) upgrade of its oil refinery in Pancevo, central Serbia.
The project has an extremely high ecological impact, along with great economic savings, NIS said in a statement.
NIS (www.nis.yu), which contributes around 20% of Serbia's budget revenue, is one of the few oil companies in the world owned by the state. Its production facilities had not been upgraded since the early 1990s. Some of the facilities were seriously damaged during the NATO air strikes on Yugoslavia in 1999.
Economy Minister Mladjan Dinkic said in June the government was considering calling a tender to sell part of NIS as part of its programme for the privatisation of remaining state-owned assets, possibly by the end of 2007. The government in Belgrade is expected to approve a strategy for the sale of NIS, and probably the option would be the one proposed by global investment bank Merrill Lynch, an advisor picked by the previous government. Last year, Merrill Lynch suggested that the government sell 25% of NIS to a strategic partner and later offer the remainder on the stock exchange.
($= 0.7049 euro)
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