UPDATE 1-Greece gets three initial bids for offshore gas storage facility

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ATHENS, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Greece has received three initial bids for a contract to develop and run an underground gas storage facility in the northern Aegean Sea, the country’s privatisation agency said on Monday.

The agency (HRADF), which manages the concession, said the bidders are China Machinery Engineering with Maison Group, Greece’s DESFA with GEK Terna, and Energean Oil & Gas .

The contract covers the development and operation of the storage facility, which is in an almost depleted deposit off the northern Greek city of Kavala, for up to 50 years. The agency had extended a deadline for non-binding bids to Oct. 19 from Sept. 30. The agency said it would evaluate the offers and decide which investors qualify to submit binding binds. The almost depleted “South Kavala” gas field, which is now run by Energean, has an estimated storage capacity of one billion cubic metres (bcm). (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou. Editing by Jane Merriman)