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Italy's Gas Rimini to Build Gas Network in Kazanlak, Bulgaria

ItalyCitigas Bulgaria, owned by Italy's Gruppo Società Gas Rimini, will start the gasification of city of Kazanlak, Southern Bulgaria. Kazanlak is part of the Trakia gasification region where Gruppo Società Gas Rimini has been licensed to deploy gas supply infrastructure. The launch of the civic gasification will allow the district heating utility based in Kazanlak to switch from fuel oil to natural gas. The Kazanlak municipality has vowed to complete the eminent domain proceedings for the private properties affected by the project in the nest 8 weeks.

Bulgarian energy minister Rumen Ovcharov has suggested to Gruppo Società Gas Rimini to go ahead with the Kazanlak gasification despite the fact that the award of the Trakia permit to the Italian company is still being contested in court. Konstantin Shushulov, chairman of the State Energy and Water Regulatory Commission, said the regulator, in the event that Gruppo Società Gas Rimini is deselect as the permit winner, will make sure the new investor buys the infrastructure installed so far by the Italian company.

Gruppo Società Gas Rimini is in talks to acquire the Kazanlak heating utility, said Shushulov. The utilities based in Kazanlak and Yambol were sold on the Bulgarian stock exchange in March 2004 to AKB Fores. Trakia is one of the eight districts into which Bulgarias territory has been zoned for the award of contracts to build networks for household and industrial use of natural gas.

The Trakia region encompasses 39 municipalities, including five where gas licences have been awarded. The region is rich in industrial gas consumers but as much as 71% of the households don't have central heating. The only exceptions are the municipalities of Kazanlak and Plovdiv which have district heating companies.

13 January 2006 -

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kazanlak, bulgaria, citigas, gasification, infrastructure, heating, properties, utilities, investment

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