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KIEV, December 18. /TASS/. A cooperation agreement between Ukraine’s and Poland’s gas transport system operators, Ukrtransgaz and Gaz-System S.A., may become a “first step on the path of establishing an East Europeam gas hub,” Ukraine’s Naftogaz said on Thursday, citing its CEO Andrei Kobolev.
Ukraine currently has considerable vacant gas storage facilities at its western border. “The hub’s capacity may reach about 20 billion cubic metres of gas a year. It will be tasked to balance, store, distribute gas between Ukraine and countries of the European Union,” he said.
Naftogaz’s press service said such a hub would be able to meet the demand in balancing supplies of many European countries, primarily Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. “The project may use gas from Russia, from the European spot market, Poland and other sources,” the press services said in a release. Moreover, the project will promote closer integration of the gas transport systems of Ukraine and the European Union countries.
“The association Vishegrad Group may serve as an efficient platform for the implementation of the project. Ukraine’s plans to join it have been recently announced by President Petro Poroshenko,” the press service said.
The agreement on cooperation on this project was signed on December 17 in Warsaw within the framework of Poroshenko’s visit to Poland.
It has been decided to built a 110-kilometre gas pipeline Drozdovichi-Bilche Volitsa in Ukraine with a capacity of eight billion cubic metres of gas a year in the direction Poland-Ukraine and seven billion cubic metre in the reverse direction.
The construction of this gas pipeline interconnector in Ukraine is estimated at 245 million U.S. dollars, the Naftogaz press service said.