SOCAR Balkans (Balkan subsidiary of SOCAR) will prepare a model for doing business in Bulgaria, the head of the company Murad Heydarov said.
“Each market offers not only advantages, but also is a territory of competition between different players, so we want to be ready. For this, we have invited consultants who will provide us with the optimal model for doing business in Bulgaria. Based on this analysis, we will prepare a solution and find the right moment to enter the Bulgarian market,” M. Heydarov said on the air of Bloomberg TV Bulgaria.
According to him, it is necessary to conduct market research to assess its capabilities and features for entry.
M. Heydarov noted that a similar strategy was adopted by the company in other countries – Greece and Turkey.
“Our strategy involves participation in projects of the Balkan region, and Bulgaria remains the most attractive market for us. I would say that Bulgaria is our window to the European market, and more specifically to the markets of South-Eastern Europe,” he stressed.
The head of SOCAR Balkans also noted that a successful cooperation has been established between SOCAR and Bulgaria, one of the elements of which has been the supply of Azerbaijani gas to this country from the Shah-Deniz field since 2020.
“In addition, Azerbaijan is closely following the process of creating the gas hub Balkan, which is an important element of the energy strategy of Bulgaria,” M. Heydarov said.
It should be noted that in April 2018, the Bulgarian Ministry of Energy confirmed that the Azerbaijan State Oil Company plans to invest in the development of the gas distribution network in Bulgaria. “Interest in SOCAR’s participation in the gasification of Bulgarian cities was shown during the meeting in Baku between Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in January 2018. SOCAR has successfully invested in this sector in Georgia and can also use this experience in Bulgaria,” the Bulgarian Energy Ministry noted in its report.
* SOCAR has been engaged in gas distribution in Georgia since 2007. From the middle of 2009, SOCAR began selling gas in the domestic market of Azerbaijan. Since the beginning of 2019, SOCAR has become an operator of gas distribution companies in two Turkish cities.