Turkish press reports have suggested the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) is among 12 bidders participating in an international tender for the privatization of Turkey’s second largest gas distribution company, Başkent Gaz. Başkent Gaz, a former subsidiary of Botas, the state oil and gas pipeline and gas importing company, is active in the Ankara area, where it services approximately 1.35mn clients. NIGC is one of three non-Turkish bidders along with Spain’s Gas Natural and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala, but is not considered as a front runner despite Turkey’s growing dependence on Iranian gas imports.

The leading domestic candidate is Enerjisa, Turkey’s largest private electricity producer and a subsidiary of the Sabancı Group of companies. Other domestic bidders include Yatirim Holding, Nurol Holding, Turkerler-Gama OGG, Genpa, Akfen-STFA OGG, Fernas, Zorlu Holding, Limak and Tasyapi. MEES learns that NIGC may join the winner as a junior partner in order to help the privatized company to purchase gas directly from Iran without going through Botas. (CONTINUED - 282 WORDS)