French energy major ENGIE has become the 1st western company to import commercial volumes of natural gas into Ukraine, network operator Ukrtransgaz said on January 13, 2017.
The country’s grid manager said ENGIE had brought 3.9 million cubic metres into Ukraine so far this year, which will either be supplied to end users or injected into storage.
ENGIE imported minimal volumes towards the end of 2016 as part of a testing process.
In the statement, Ukrtransgaz said it was currently preparing to sign network use agreements with Hungary’s Central Energy Trade and Swiss companies DufEnergy Trading and NORDWIND TRADE.
The ENGIE announcement follows an agreement made in October 2016 allowing the French company to use the country’s grid and storage facilities.
Policy makers have been keen for foreign companies to use Ukraine’s storage sites for a long time, due to the underutilisation of capacity.
Previously there was little interest because of requirements for importers to store 50% of the upcoming month’s expected gas sales.
This was reduced to 10% last year, making the domestic market more attractive to western suppliers.
Another concern centred on the difficulty and cost of exporting volumes, should a company not be able to sell imported gas within Ukraine.
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