The Kazakh side sells part of its assets in Georgia – in particular, the Batumi oil terminal and a network of filling stations Rompetrol – Urimzak Shukeyev, Chairman of the National Welfare Fund, states.
According to him, KazTransGas intends to sell non-core assets in Kazakhstan and Georgia. Batumi Oil Terminal is operated by Batumi Industrial Holdings Limited. KazTransOil, which is a subsidiary of the state-owned KazTransGas, acquired 100% shares of the Batumi terminal in 2008 for 49 years.
In Shukeyev’s words, privatization of a controlling stake in the Georgian network of filling stations Rompetrol is also planned, they are currently negotiating with potential investors. Rompetrol is the main brand of KMG International NV, 100% of its shares are owned by KazMunaiGas.
In October of this year it was reported that the Kazakh company decided to liquidate its subsidiary Batumi Terminals Limited, which owns the terminal. In March, KazTransOil announced that the assets of the terminal had been arrested on the basis of the claim of one of the clients of the object.
The subject of the litigation was the dominant position of the terminal in the transport of petroleum products, as well as the legitimacy of the tariffs for its services. Libra Trading and VIBRO DIAGNOSTIC demand Batumi terminal to compensate for damages totaling $ 62 million – these are the companies that carried out the transportation of oil products in Georgia for government agencies and the private sector and abroad.
In particular, they complained about the decline in turnover and a problem due to the fact that the management of the terminal demanded additional charges from carriers using the bureaucratic hurdles as leverage.
July 24 arrest of assets of the terminal has been removed. Another Kazakh companies – KazTransGas-Tbilisi dealing with the distribution of the gas in the capital – also faces problems in Georgia. Since 2009 it is managed by an external management due to the debts to the state.
For many years, the Kazakh side is trying to regain control of the company, but the three-year negotiations have not yielded any results. A few weeks ago, Kazakh media reported if the issue of the return of the gas distribution company is not solved in the near future, the Kazakh side KazTransGas may request a refund of investments the company made.
While the Minister of Economy of Georgia Dimitri Kumsiashvili states that the issue on the investments return is not considered. He met with his Kazakh counterpart during one of the international forums. According to him, he confirmed that Kazakhstan is an important investor in Georgia and expressed his readiness to support the Kazakh investments as much as possible.
“We came to an agreement on the creation of a new working group that will review all the issues on Kazakh investments and opportunities of increasing Kazakh investors’ activity. This of course, is primarily dependent on the degree of Kazakh investments protection,” the Minister of Economy of Georgia states.