Gas companies to remain state-owned

TEHRAN Jan 13 (Shana): Gas companies are expected to be dropped from the list of companies that should be transferred to private sector, a National Iranian Gas Company’s (NIGC) official said.

Speaking to Shana, Naser Abgoun said Petroleum Minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, has expressed his views on the way of implementation of the Article 44 of the constitution on privatization to Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance by sending two letters to the ministry.

According to the official, Zanganeh is against transferring of gas processing plants to private sector due to the sensitive and important role they play in production, export and supply of gas.

A committee consist of the representatives of Privatization Organizationand Petroleum Ministry’s department for planning are working together to take a final decision on those Petroleum Ministry’s subsidiaries are subject to transferring to privates sector, he noted.

Earlier Zanganeh said the private sector could invest 75 billion dollars in the country’s petrochemical projects.

He also said that 10 billion dollars worth of downstream oil projects as well as construction of 3,000 kilometers of pipeline are ready for the private sector.

Zanganeh told the Board of Directors of the Association of Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Engineering and Contracting Companies that the private sector must become more active in this sector.

“The private sector must be revived and create capacities for the implementation of projects,” said the minister.

Meanwhile Managing director of NIOPDC, Mostafa Kashkoli, said last week that even though the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) has transferred 90 percent of its activities to private sector but it plans to remain in charge of coordination and supervision policies in the refining sector.

He noted supplying fuel across the country, distribution of subsidized oil products and the related price gap are important issues that need close monitoring and Minister of Petroleum insists the government should not transfer these managerial issues to private sector.

According to Kashkouli, not only more than 3100 oil products distribution stations and 2100 CNG stations have been transferred to private sector but the sector is in charge of all activities related to transportation of oil products.

Bulk of the NIOPDC’s activities is being carried out by private sector and the remaining duties including planning, supervision and coordination will remain under the state control, he concluded.



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