Dor Alon Energy Israel and the Delek Petroleum Ltd. each submitted requests on Wednesday, to participate in the tender to buy the Ashdod oil refineries, owned by the government controlled Oil Refineries Ltd. (Bazan). Their intention to bid comes one day before the closing date for the tender. Dor Alon and Delek, a subsidiary of the Delek Group, join Paz Gas, Israel Petrochemical Enterprises and Russian company Rosneft, all of which previously submitted their requests to participate. Rosneft is participating in the tender through a consortium that includes the Sonol Group. The government published its invitation to participate in the tender in January after it was given clearance from the High Court to increase its stake in Oil Refineries to 100 percent with the purchase of 26% interest held by Israel Corp. The NIS 677.5 million deal was closed this week. Also earlier this week, Bazan reported its earnings for 2005 saying it had net profits of NIS 1.45 billion for the year, up from NIS 773m. in 2004. Revenues for last year rose to NIS 27.22b., from NIS 18.84b. in 2004. In the next stage of the tender, following Thursday's close, the companies are expected to enter the "information room" in March to prepare their bids. The sale is expected to be completed around May. Industry sources estimate the winning bid will come in at between $400m. and $500m. Bazan consists of the Ashdod refinery as well as one in Haifa. The Ashdod tender marks the first stage in the government's plan to split the two in order to open the oil refinery market to competition. It plans to sell the Haifa facility at a later stage through an initial public offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange or to a private group.