Slovaks one of the world's largest gas transporters

Apr 29, 1997 02:00 AM

Russia's Gazprom and Slovak gas distributor SPP have signed a contract to form a joint-venture to manage deliveries of Russian gas above contracted quotas to western Europe. During a signing ceremony SPP and Gazprom also concluded deals on natural gas supplies to Slovakia as well as a contract on the supplies the joint-venture will transfer.
Plans for the Russian-Slovak gas joint venture, which has yet to be named, sparked controversy at the beginning of this month when the opposition fiercely criticised the project, saying it would lead to heavier reliance on Russia by Slovakia. The Slovak government rejected the criticism, arguing the proposed 50-50 joint venture would help Slovakia retain its position as one of the world's largest gas transporters. SPP already manages transit of Russian gas to western Europe, which last year totalled around 80 bn cubic metres.
The pipeline, which began operation in April 1971, serves 10 major consumers in central and western Europe. Gazprom pays for the transfer by supplying about 4 bn cubic metres of gas to Slovak consumers, which covers about two thirds of domestic annual consumption.

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