In Brief - 2003-09-11

  • 2003-09-11
Estonian Air soaring

Estonian Air reported that in August it had a total of 38,773 passegners, 40
percent more than in August 2002.
"A total of 242,896 passengers have flown on all our regular flights since
the beginning of the year, 26 percent more than in January-August last year.
The number of passengers on chartered flights was 15,474 during the
eight-month period," Estonian Air said.
In August the average load factor of Estonian Air flights on its eleven
routes was 70 percent, with the best load factor, 85 percent, on the Paris
route. The highest number of passengers, 11,399, was carried between Tallinn
and Copenhagen, to which the airline maintains three daily flights.
In August, two new destinations of regular flights, Oslo and Berlin, were
added to the Estonian Air timetable. Flights to and from Oslo had 1,374
passengers since August 12, and flights to and from Berlin carried 979
passengers since August 19.
In August Estonian Air carried its passengers on four Boeing 737-500 and one
48-seater Fokker 50 aircraft. When the fall and winter timetable comes into
effect as of the end of October, Estonian Air will only have Boeings in its
fleet. (Baltic News Service)

Stumbras privatization on road to completion

Lithuania's State Property Fund and Mineraliniai Vandenys on Sept. 4
initialed an agreement on the sale of a 91.95 percent stake in Lithuania's
major alcohol producer Stumbras, the Fund reported.
The agreement will be handed to the Privatization Commission and government
for approval, said the SPF's statement.
Mineraliniai Vandenys was named a winner in the Stumbras privatization
tender last month after the SPF erased the consortium led by Latvijas
Balzams and Juris Gulbis from the list of tenderers. The SPF said it had
received reports from Lithuanian public institutions alleging the
unreliability of the Latvian company.
Latvijas Balzams has recently filed a complaint over the ruling of the
Stumbras privatization commission to reject its bid.
The Latvians bid the highest price‹158 million litas (45.8 million
euros)‹for the stake in Stumbras.
Mineraliniai Vandenys initially offered 152 million litas, but later it
improved the bid, which, according to unofficial sources, did not exceed the
offer of the Latvian company. (BNS)

Oil refinery gets facelift
Mazeikiu Nafta, the Lithuanian oil refinery majority owned and operated by
Russia's oil giant YUKOS, has completed the first project under its
modernization program.
The PENEX Isomerization Unit, which cost the company around 50 million
euros, is to be put into operation on Sept. 12, more than a year after the
project was launched.
With the new unit in operation, Mazeikiu Nafta will be able to produce
gasoline with a high octane number and comply with the latest environmental
protection standards of the European Union. The company has also built a new
gasoline blending station and is in the process of reconstructing oil tanks.
Mazeikiu Nafta has announced plans to invest several hundred million euros
into a number of modernization projects in the next four years.
The oil refinery, which is based in Mazeikiai, in northwestern Lithuania,
increased its monthly output by 36.5 percent year-on-year to 726,000 tons in
July, a record level in recent years. The plant refined 3.6 million tons of
crude oil in the first seven months of this year, down by 2.9 percent on the
same time last year. (BNS)

Latvian millionaire drops plans to buy digital TV company
Head of Baltkom group and millionaire Peteris Smidre does not want to buy
Digitalais Latvijas Radija un Televizijas Centrs, a company dealing with
digital television introduction in Latvia, but is ready to introduce digital
TV to Latvia as a private entity project with a possible minimal involvement
on the part of the state, a newspaper reported.
The business daily Dienas Bizness wrote that Smidre no longer wants to buy
DLRTC because the company launched a legal proceeding against Kempmayer
Smidre said he reported his changed intentions to the Transport Ministry
Sept. 1. He would reportedly, however, undertake to introduce digital
broadcasting television as a part of the planned transfer of Baltkom TV
cable television to a fully digital environment.
"We have a business plan, I will not reveal its figures for now, but it is a
lot cheaper than costs related with KML," said Smidre. (BNS)