UPDATE 1-Turkey's Kazanci signs MOUs to import Iraqi gas

By Orhan Coskun and Evrim Ergin ANTALYA, Turkey, May 10 (Reuters) - Turkey's Kazanci Holding, which will hold an IPO for its energy unit this month, has signed several memorandums of understanding to import Iraqi gas to Turkey, an official from the holding told Reuters. Kazanci Holding's Vice Chairman Mehmet Kazanci said the conglomerate's unit Aksa Dogalgaz is interested in participating in the potential privatisations of Turkey's gas import contracts with Russia, Algeria, Iran, Azerbaijan and Nigeria. But the company is also looking beyond current exporters. "Iraq is an alternative. If Iraq produces gas, new market players will enter the sector, gas importers. We could see serious amounts of gas from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. This gas could meet some of Europe's needs," said Mehmet Kazanci. Turkey's pipeline company Botas was due to sell off most of its contracts by the end of last year, and new efforts to privatise the contracts, worth billions of dollars, are under close scrutiny by a market eager to import and sell gas. Kazanci said his company's talks with Gazprom were continuing. Earlier this year the company said it planned to bid with Gazprom for power stations up for privatisation and a gas distribution network that serves the capital Ankara and is slated to be sold off. Kazanci's gas unit has previously said it plans to distribute Gazprom gas from 2011 once the import licences are privatised. Kazanci said low demand around Akfen Holding's IPO would not affect Aksa Enerji's initial public offering, eyed at a value of as much as $407 million. Akfen said on Monday it was reducing the size of its IPO due to low demand and poor market conditions. Keywords: AKSA/ (thomas.grove@reuters.com; Telephone: +90 212 350 7051; Reuters Messaging: thomas.grove.reuters.com@reuters.net) COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2010. All rights reserved.

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