Bulgaria: Gazprom withdraws from Overgas company

, SEE Energy News

According to the data from the Bulgarian Commerce Register, businessman Sasho Donchev has became the major shareholder in the largest Bulgarian private gas company Overgas.

Until recently, Russian gas company Gazprom and Donchev had even 50 % shares in this BulgarianRussian joint venture company. The Commerce Register also shows that two names were removed from the company’s Board of Directors, while three new entries have been added. Previously, there were reports that Gazprom was prepared to withdrew from this joint venture, as a part of the company’s new business strategy.

The company has come to attention in late December 2015, after Bulgarian officials announced that they have received a letter in which Gazprom has informed Overgas that it will stop its natural gas supply to the company as of 1 January 2016, due to overdue debt and unsettled commercial issues between the two companies. Later that day, Overgas denied the existence of such letter and the company’s representatives said that this is an attempt at stealing their business. After a series of extraordinary meetings attended by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borsiov, a solution for the problem was made on 31 December, with an agreement between Overgas and Bulgargaz, in which Bulgargaz will provide gas for Overgas’ customers in case Gazprom cuts the supply.

Overgas supplies natural gas to more than 55,000 households and 3,000 businesses in Bulgaria. Last month, the company obtained 81.6 million euros loan from UniCredit in order to cover overdue payments to DSK Bank. This loan was previously approved by the Bulgarian Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (KEVR), which is required by law, transmits Serbia-energy.eu

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