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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Novatek Joins the Race for OGK-5

Gas firm Novatek will join the race to buy a large stake in power generator OGK-5, which has already attracted interest from Italy's Enel, Interfax reported Thursday.

Interfax quoted a source as saying Novatek had filed for permission from the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service to allow it to buy 40 percent in OGK-5.

A stake of 25 percent held by the former power monopoly Unified Energy Systems will be sold at auction on June 6, with a starting price of $957 million.

Enel and United Company RusAl have said they will consider buying the stake, while industry sources have said Germany's E.On would also bid.

Novatek is 20 percent controlled by Gazprom, which has ambitious plans to expand in power generation.

As well as Gazprom, the most active bidders for power assets being spun off from UES include industrial conglomerate Interros; coal and energy firm SUEK; the investment vehicle of billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, KES; and Finnish power firm Fortum.

OGK-5 is one of six diversified thermal generation companies located in central Russia and the Urals, where demand for electricity is currently outpacing production capacity.