14 Nov 2022 17:13

Ukraine starts certification of Ukrtransgaz as European operator of UGS facilities

MOSCOW. Nov 14 (Interfax) - JSC Ukrtransgaz, which operates Ukrainian underground gas storage (UGS) facilities, has begun certifying these facilities, the company's head Sergei Pereloma said.

"Successful certification will confirm the independence of the Ukrainian network of underground gas storage facilities from third parties and will make it possible to store gas of not only non-resident companies but also the strategic reserves of European countries. It will happen at the state level for the first time," Ukrainian media outlets quoted Pereloma as saying on social media.

The first step in this direction is to form a relevant legislative framework, he said. In late October, the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada registered a bill that integrates the standards adopted by the European Union in July 2022 for certifying operators of gas storage facilities into Ukrainian legislation. This bill will set out common principles for such certification and will specify the powers of the regulator, the National Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission, in implementing it.

The regulator will then detail the certification procedure, while Ukrtransgaz will submit the documents that are needed to pass it. Following analysis and conclusions from the Ukrainian National Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission and the Secretariat of the Energy Community, a decision will be adopted to certify the company as an operator of underground gas storage facilities in line with EU standards.

"I am confident that this decision will be positive, while its results will be significant both to the company and to the country. We are speaking about the possibility of filling up the network of underground gas storage facilities to the maximum and directly increasing revenue and proceeds from storing gas of EU states and Energy Community members, including as part of the burden-sharing mechanism, which Europe is now taking steps to introduce," Pereloma said.

Certification will help significantly bolster Ukraine's reputation, will serve as an additional argument during commercial business talks and will confirm the efficiency of Ukraine's European integration processes and the fact that Ukraine belongs to the European gas market, he said.

As reported, the new rules set the EU's gas storage target at 80% this year, and at 90% in 2023.

Twelve underground gas storage facilities of Ukrtransgaz, which is 100% owned by Naftogaz of Ukraine, have a total capacity of 31 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas. These are the Bilche-Volitsko-Ugerskoye UGS facility (17.05 bcm), the Ugerskoye (1.9 bcm), the Dashavskoye (2.15 bcm), the Oparskoye (1.92 bcm), the Bogorodchanskoye (2.3 bcm), the Krasnopartizanskoye (1.5 bcm), the Solokhovskoye (1.3 bcm), the Olishevskoue (0.31 bcm), the Proletarskoye (1 bcm), the Kegichevskoye (0.7 bcm), the Krasnopopovskoye (0.42 bcm), and the Vergunskoye (0.4 bcm).