Iranian firm may bid for Turkey’s Petkim

ANKARA (Reuters) – The National Iranian Petrochemicals Co may place a joint bid in a tender for Turkey’s state-run petrochemicals firm Petkim, a Turkish company official told reporters yesterday. Turkey has extended the deadline to January 30 for bids for Petkim amid a slowing IMF-backed privatization program, hit by delays of flagging interest and lower-than-expected offers. The government is well short of its year-end privatization revenue target of $2 billion. «The National Iranian Petrochemicals Co and (Turkey’s) Hema are considering making a bid for Petkim,» said Emin Hattat, a senior executive of Hema Disli Grubu, an automotive parts firm. Hattat was speaking after meeting with Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler and Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, deputy petroleum minister and president of the National Iranian Petrochemical Co. Hattat also said Iran’s state industrial firm had agreed to build a 1,200-megawatt natural gas station in Turkey near the Iranian and Iraqi borders. The project is expected to cost $800 million and construction is to begin in September 2004, Hattat said.