GAS MONOPOLIST REMITTED BGN370MN INTO THE TREASURY
The accounting profit of Bulgargas for 2003 is BGN124MN, the company's preliminary calculations show. About BGN370MN has been remitted to the budget in direct and indirect taxes and transiting fees, which places the company among the major contibutors to the Treasury. The state-run gas monopolist may also increase its proceeds by providing telecommunications services for commercial purposes. It has about 650 km of fibre optic trunk-lines, towards which telecom operators show huge interest.Gas consumption exceeded 2.9BN cu m last year, 6% up from 2002. The energy sector remains the biggest client with 39% (1.1BN cu m) of the total conusmption. Next comes the chemical industry with 29.7% (865MN cu m), maintaining the 2002 level of consumption despite the decommissioning of the Vratsa-based Chimco. In metallurgy consumption was 418MN cu m, or 14.3% of the total. Bulgargas major customer from this sector is the Krememikovtsi iron ans steel works, whose consumption rose 30% from 2002. Consumption declined in the cement industry (due to the use of coal as fuel) and in glass-making (after the enterprise in Razgrad stopped operation).Bulgargas has managed to supply the agreed quantities of gas to all its clients and has no liabilities. The company closed 330 contracts within that period and natural gas was being delivered to 270 customers, the 27 gas distribution companies in the country among them. But things stand differently regarding Bulgargas receivables, totalling BGN270MN (BGN15MN down from 2002). Its biggest debtors are the domestic central heating utilities, whose liabilities amount to BGN136MN, down BGN3MN from 2002. The Sofia Central Heating Company is the biggest debtor, owing BGN112MN, followed by the untilities in Plovdiv (BGN10MN), Bourgas (BGN5.5MN), Pleven (BGN5MN) and Shoumen (BGN3MN). The biggest debtor among industrial enterprises is Kremikovtsi, whose liabilities total BGN40MN. Bulgargas has rescheduled repayment of BGN35MN for 10 years but nevertheless there are problems regarding the current payments, the gas company's Executive Director Kiril Gegov explained. A total of 13.5BN cu m of natural gas were transited to the Balkan countries in 2002. The greatest increase of delivered quantity - by 15% - was to Greece, while gas supply to Turkey dropped by 1.7 per cent.