The Pakistan government has received a total of 34 domestic and foreign applications to buy 51% stakes being sold in the country's two main gas utilities, Dow Jones reported from Karachi on Wednesday.Mol is among the applicants according to a statement by the state-run Privatization Commission. The commission said it will evaluate and pre-qualify firms by the end of April-end. In the statement issued late Tuesday, the Privatization Commission said that 17 local and foreign firms have expressed interest in buying a 51% stake in Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd, the country's largest gas utility, and 17 firms have shown interest in acquiring a 51% stake in Sui Southern Gas Co, the second largest gas utility. Some of the firms have shown interest in both the gas utilities to increase their chances of success. "The Privatisation Commission will not allow one party to acquire both the gas companies. However, one party may participate in the privatization process for both," the statement added.
The statement listed among the major firms expressing interest British Petroleum, Shell Gas and Power, Premier Oil, PTT of Thailand, Enbridge (ENB) of Canada, Mol of Hungary, Mitsui Co. of Japan, USA-based Tara Energy, Turkish Calik Energy, Burhan Oil Services of Kuwait, UAE-based Abu Dhabi Group and Korea Gas, Dow Jones reported.SNGPL has a franchise area comprising provinces of central Punjab and the North West Frontier Province, or NWFP, serving more than 2.3 million consumers. SSGC has a franchise area covering the southern provinces of Sindh and Baluchistan with more than 1.7 million consumers the report said.