Government: Slovakia now better able to cope with gas cut than in 2009

Slovakia is now better prepared for a potential shutdown of gas supplies from Russia across Ukraine than it was in 2009, the Economy Ministry wrote in a report approved by the government September 10.

Slovakia is now better prepared for a potential shutdown of gas supplies from Russia across Ukraine than it was in 2009, the Economy Ministry wrote in a report approved by the government September 10.

According to the report, quoted by the TASR newswire, the country is better prepared thanks to alternative contracts concerning gas supplies and measures vis-a-vis gas reserves, as well as improvements in short- and medium-term solutions in gas infrastructure.

Poland reported a cut in Russian gas supplies earlier this week, while Slovakia has reported a similar problem. Peter Bednár, the spokesman for SPP, told the SITA newswire there is currently only a moderate decrease in the supply of gas of around 10 percent.

“Deliveries to all customers of SPP are still fully secured. SPP has above-standard gas reserves in underground storage facilities and is ready to guarantee continuous supply of gas to all its customers,” said Bednár. The company did not want to speculate about the reasons for the decline in gas supplies from Russia via Ukraine. Poland has confirmed that gas supplies from Russia have dropped since the beginning of this week, with the Sme daily giving the number at 20 percent on September 8 and 24 percent as of September 9.

Slovakia’s largest gas utility, SPP, has a diversification contract for additional gas supplies that should be available to Slovak consumers should a crisis occur, TASR wrote. E.ON Ruhrgas should provide up to 500 million cubic metres of gas per year from its western resources to Slovakia in the event of a crisis. The gas reservoirs of three companies - Nafta, Pozagas and SPP Storage - contained 3.5 billion cubic metres of gas as of August 15, or 94 percent of their capacities, the TASR newswire wrote.

As far as the interlinking of the Slovak and Czech gas pipeline networks is concerned, technical measures have been adopted that will enable a reverse gas flow from the Czech Republic to Slovakia reaching 67 million cubic metres of gas per day. Another 23 million cubic metres of gas per day can be brought to Slovakia from Austria. Slovakia’s and Hungary’s gas transit networks were connected on March 27, 2014, and a trial run is expected to be launched in the latter half of this year. A contract for linking Slovakia’s and Poland’s gas pipelines was inked on November 22, 2013.

(Source: TASR, SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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