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Bulgaria: Plan Approved To Sell 75 Percent Of Oil Refinery

Sofia, 14 April 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Bulgaria's caretaker government today approved the Privatization Agency's project to sell up to 75 percent of the state-owned Neftochim oil refinery in the Black Sea port city of Burgas.

Our correspondent in Sofia says the only known bidder for Neftochim so far is the Russian company Rossinvestneft -- the main supplier of gasoline to the Bulgarian market. About 70 percent of the Neftochim refinery's output covers Bulgarian demand for oil products. About 30 percent of production is exported.

The Privatization Agency estimates Neftochim's assets are worth more than nine million dollars. But the loss-making company has debts totaling nearly $6 million.

Neftochim is one of about 40 companies named by the caretaker cabinet in Sofia as a target for privatization. Other important firms to be sold off include the national air carrier, the state-owned phone company, electric power plants and arms producers.