Georgia Wants to Sell Coastal Pipelines to =?UNKNOWN?Q?Russia’s?Gazp

MosNews, Russia
Feb 24 2005

Georgia Wants to Sell Coastal Pipelines to Russia’s Gazprom


Georgia would like to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the
sale of coastal pipelines that supply Russian gas to Georgia and
Armenia. This information was revealed on Thursday, Feb. 24, by
Georgia’s Minister for Economic Reform and former Russian businessman
Kakha Bendukidze.

`We want to sell the coastal pipelines to [Russian gas monopoly]
Gazprom or to a Western investor,’ Bendukidze told Reuters, adding
that the sale would include a clause to guarantee supplies to
Georgia. `The price for the pipeline will not be tens of millions but
hundreds of millions of dollars,’ he said.

He also said the buyer could extend the network, enabling Gazprom to
pipe gas from Russia to Turkey.

The pipelines’ capacity has fallen to 7-8 billion cubic meters
annually since the fall of the Soviet Union, when they supplied 16
billion cubic meters.

Repairs are likely to cost around $200 million, experts say