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24

Plans Scrapped by Gazprom Transporter

Wingas Transport GmbH & Co, the energy transporter owned by BASF SE and Russia's OAO Gazprom, dropped plans to build a 600 million-euro German gas pipeline because of price regulation

Wingas Transport GmbH & Co, the energy transporter owned by BASF SE and Russia's OAO Gazprom, dropped plans to build a 600 million-euro ($757.2 million) German gas pipeline because of price regulation.

The project was halted because a decision by Germany's Federal Network Agency to fix long-distance transport fees may threaten profits, the Kassel, Germany-based company said today in an e-mailed statement.

The 500-kilometer (310-mile) pipeline would run from the Austrian border to the state of Hesse, where Frankfurt is located. It would give Germany, Europe's largest energy consumer, a further connection to its southeastern neighbor, which is seeking to channel fuel from the Caspian region from 2013.

E.ON AG, Wingas's partner in the venture, hasn't decided whether it will also scrap the plan, according to Ulrich Ronnacker, who heads the legal and regulatory department at the utility's gas-grid unit.

E.ON is asking clients how it should expand its 11,000- kilometer gas network, Ronnacker said today by telephone. The company will decide which projects to pursue in March, he added.

The German utility alone wouldn't be able to build the pipeline in its current form, Essen-based Ronnacker said.

E.ON, Wingas and competitor Nederlandse Gasunie NV have all submitted complaints to Dusseldorf's higher regional court, following the regulator's decision to fix transfer fees, according to Ronnacker.

Author: Jo Amey