18 Aug 2023 15:55

Ukrtransgaz expects nonresidents to step up gas injection into Ukrainian UGS facilities - CFO

MOSCOW. Aug 18 (Interfax) - Ukrtransgaz, the operator of Ukraine's underground gas storage facilities which has some 140 contracts with non-residents, expects them to step up gas injection, given favorable and comfortable conditions, the operator's CFO Yevgeny Palenka said.

"We have contracts with almost 140 traders. Some of them are making active use of these contracts, and some have not used them yet, but I think everything will depend on the commercial situation in the European and world markets. Injection is well under way and they are feeling more comfortable," Ukrainian media quoted Palenka as saying on the sidelines of the Ukrainian Gas Open 2023 Forum: Production. Transportation. Storage. Sales.

"Our main task is to provide them with comfortable terms: both for traders and those who advise them and make certain calculations for those involved in insurance. We are now actively communicating with them, convincing them that the risks of losing gas are very remote," he said.

He said gas storage charges were the same for residents and non-residents, but that an additional 20% came in from the latter.

"We won't disclose how much we make. It is important that the tariffs are the same for residents and non-residents, but the state gets another 20% in VAT from them. So Ukrtransgaz not only plays a big role in supporting energy security, but also brings in foreign currency for the budget," Palenka said.

He also said that last year compared to this year, "non-residents were extremely cautious."

"At the same time, we'd always like more. We all remember 2020, when 10 billion cubic meters were injected by non-residents. But there are realities. We will create comfortable conditions and increase injection volumes," he said.

In his speech during Gas Open 2023, Palenka said the company was now trying to work not only with European traders, but also with companies around the world, because "there is interest in using Ukraine's gas storage facilities not only in Europe."

Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko has repeatedly urged Europe to use the free capacity of Ukrainian underground gas storage facilities, saying they had 15 billion cubic meters of spare capacity.