ECONOMY


*MINISTRY OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OWNS 25% SHARE IN AZBTC Co.

The Ministry of Economic Development of Azerbaijan owns 25% shares of the company AzBTC Co. representing the interest of the government of Azerbaijan in the project for the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline. According to a spokesperson for the ministry, this share is calculated from the government's share in financing the construction of the BTC. According to the decree by the President of Azerbaijan of November 2002, the Ministry of Economic Development is to manage the government's share in the BTC project in proportion with the funds invested into it from the Oil Fund. The BTC project costs USD2.95 billion and the share of SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic) is 25% or in monetary terms USD740 million of which SOCAR will provide USD240 from its own funds and USD500 million from loans obtained from international financial institutions. This pipeline spans a distance of 1767 km of which 443 km is in Azerbaijan, 248km in Georgia and 1076km in Turkey. Carrying capacity is 50 million tons of oil per year and construction is to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2004. Export of Azerbaijani oil from the port of Ceyhan (Turkey, Mediterranean Sea) should start from the beginning of 2005, according to the schedules.

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