The reverse gas flow pipeline from Slovakia to Ukraine was ceremonially opened by, Robert Fico and Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the respective prime ministers of Slovakia and Ukraine, and European Commission representative Klaus-Dieter Borchardt in Veľké Kapušany on September 2.
A memorandum on introducing the reverse gas flow from Slovakia to Ukraine was signed by gas transport operators of the two countries, Eustream and Ukrtransgaz, back on April 28. Ukraine launched talks with its EU neighbours after Russia’s state-owned Gazprom in early April almost doubled the gas prices for Ukraine. The country, which is facing a deep economic crisis, covers around half of its energy-supply mix with gas from Russia.
Such specific steps as this one are solutions that are needed in difficult times, Fico said at the opening, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “The introduction of the reverse gas flow from Vojany to Uzhgorod is an important event both in Slovak-Ukrainian relations and in the European context,” said Fico. Nonetheless, the reverse gas flow will only be possible if the supplies for Slovak consumers are not endangered, Fico added.
Yatsenyuk stressed that reverse gas flow pipelines from Slovakia, Hungary and Poland are able to cover 20 percent of Ukrainian consumption. “Europe needs new energy rules that would be honest in the first place, and wouldn’t allow any non-EU country to act as a monopoly,” said Yatsenyuk in reference to Russia.
According to Borchadt, this is a special day for Ukraine, as it has taken an important step towards energy security, and also for Slovakia and Eustream, and the whole of the EU - which have expressed solidarity with those who need energy.
The Vojany-Uzhgorod pipeline will have the capacity of 10 billion cubic metres of gas per year (27 million cubic metres per day). This volume is already available on an interruptible basis, and as of March 1, 2015 on a lasting basis. The minimum guaranteed volume of gas will be 17.6 million cubic metres per day as of the next month. Eustream has carried out the investment solely from its own resources.
Fico also said, as quoted by the SITA newswire, that Ukraine needs about 25 billion cubic meters of gas. Reverse gas supplies from Poland, Hungary and Slovakia will greatly help Ukraine diversify energy sources. Yatsenyuk thanked the Slovak government for help and cooperation in safeguarding energy security of his country, the EU and Slovakia as well. But he said that the opening of the Vojany-Uzhgorod pipeline is not a final solution.
Eustream spokesman Vahram Chuguryan said that investments in the project have not been yet completely calculated yet, adding that it is so far impossible to specify return on investment. However, its less than €20 million, he told SITA. He added that seven to 10 entities interested in reverse gas flow supplies from Ukraine have booked transport capacities amounting to 10 billion cubic meters annually with Eustream until 2019.
(Source: TASR, SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
3. Sep 2014 at 10:00