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CORPORATE NEWS

Ruhrgas still interested in Slovak gas market

Ruhrgas, a German gas transportation company, confirmed its continued interest in participating in the Slovak gas market on February 18. According to Ruhrgas's trade director for eastern Europe, the company is interested in transporting gas to Slovakia from western Europe, as well as participating in the privatization of Slovenský Plynárenský Priemysel (Slovak Gas Company - SPP). Ruhrgas officials acknowledged that the price of gas imported from western Europe would be higher due to transportation fees, but they said Slovakia would benefit from a diversification of its gas sources and Ruhrgas's offer of long-term contracts that set future prices now. In general, Ruhrgas is not interested in acquiring companies that deal also in gas transportation or processing of other commodities, officials said. In Slovakia, the company is engaged with Slovak partners in the fields of know-how for protection against corrosion and the production of electricity and heat from gas. Contrary to press reports, the company's director, Ulrich Schöler, said it did not take part in negotiations over the purchase of the gas storage company Nafta.

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