ECONOMY

In Brief

Greece holds talks on joining new Gazprom pipeline Greece yesterday held talks on joining OAO Gazprom’s South Stream pipeline project as Russia’s largest energy company lines up partners for its newest export route to Europe. Deputy Chief Executive Officer Alexander Medvedev discussed the issue with Development Minister Christos Folias in Athens, the company said in an e-mailed statement. South Stream will connect Russia to Bulgaria via the Black Sea. Gazprom, which plans to build South Stream with Italy’s Eni SpA, has already won commitments from Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary to join the project’s northern link. Greece could participate in a southern link that would connect Bulgaria to Italy via a subsea connector under the Adriatic. Gazprom exported 3.1 billion cubic meters of gas to Greece last year. (Bloomberg) Bulgaria seeks bidders to build Sofia’s subway SOFIA (Reuters) Bulgaria is launching a new tender for an international bidder to build a stretch of its capital’s underground railway, the Transport Ministry said yesterday. Sofia’s municipality company Metropoliten will accept offers for the construction and overhaul of a 6.5 kilometer, seven-station stretch of the underground by May 27. The stretch should be completed in about four years. This is the second tender for the section, as the first one was canceled last month after the offers submitted were well above the planned budget for the work. Bulgaria launched a small section of the Sofia subway in early 1998. It plans to build three railway lines across the capital of more than 2 million people. CCHBC Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (CCHBC), the world’s second-largest bottler of Coke, is eyeing acquisitions of refreshment firms in Poland and Ukraine, according to a presentation yesterday. The company has market shares of 1.4 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively, in the two countries, and will soon start distribution of its latest Coke Zero brand which has already been launched in Cyprus, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. CCHBC recently signed a tripartite partnership with The Coca-Cola Company and Italy’s Illycafe, which will produce, promote and distribute a ready-to-drink Illy espresso-based product in all countries where CCHBC is present. Enel in Bulgaria Italian utility Enel said yesterday it had restarted a 227 megawatt unit at its thermal power plant in southeastern Bulgaria, after completing its upgrade. Enel, which has a 73 percent stake in Bulgaria’s Maritsa East Three coal-fired plant, said three of its four power generators were now operational, bringing the current capacity to 681 megawatts. The plant’s fourth unit is shut down for rehabilitation. «Currently, the three rehabilitated units are operational with desulphurization installations. It means a reduction of 94 percent in the sulphur dioxide emitted into the air,» Enel said in a statement. (Reuters)