The Gazprom headquarters hosted today a working meeting between Alexey Miller , Chairman of the Company's Management Committee and Dr. Karsten Heuchert, Chairman of the Executive Board of Verbundnetz Gas AG.
The parties discussed the main issues of cooperation in the field of natural gas supplies and underground storage .
The meeting participants noted the importance of the UGS system expansion in Europe and, therefore, particular relevancy of the joint project implementation between Gazprom and VNG to build the Katharina UGS facility in Germany.
Moreover, in the course of the meeting Alexey Miller and Karsten Heuchert considered the prospects for expanding the scope of Verbundnetz Gas activity with part of the company's shares owned by Gazprom.
Established in 1969, Verbundnetz Gas AG (VNG AG, Leipzig) is a supplier of gas to Germany and a number of other countries. VNG business activities involve natural gas import, supply to consumers as well as production and underground storage.
At present, the company's shareholders are as follows: EWE – 47.9 per cent, Wintershall Holding GmbH – 15.79 per cent plus one share, VNG Verwaltungs und Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH – 25.79 per cent less one share, Gazprom – 10.52 per cent.
In April 2008 Gazprom and VNG inked the Agreement of Cooperation in the underground gas storage sector, which provides for establishing a joint venture that would operate a new UGS facility near Bernburg (Saxonia-Anhalt, Germany).
Later on, this facility was named Katharina. In May 2009 Gazprom and VNG signed the Agreement on setting up a consortium to construct the Katharina UGS facility.
Upon reaching the nominal capacity the UGS working gas volume will amount to 629 million cubic meters.
The Katharina UGS facility will assure reliable gas supplies to Western Europe, its marketing at the Mallnow, Waidhaus, Gaspool and NCG hubs as well as deliveries via the Nord Stream gas pipeline.