Kiev is ready to invest 790 million euros in Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline, pending on whether the project includes the construction of a branch to the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Georgia's port Kulevi, from which gas could be carried to Ukraine by sea, Kommersant-Ukraine business daily reported Thursday.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said on Wednesday the country was ready to participate in 7.9 billion euro Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline, designed to pump gas from Caspian regions to E.U., bypassing Russia. Moscow criticizes the project because the Caspian Sea status has not been defined and regulated yet.
Ukrainian Energy Ministry and Russia's Gazprom declined to comment on Azarov's statement officially, but a source in the ministry told the paper that Kiev has already sent an official application to join the project to Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.
"We are ready to invest funds amounting to 10% of the project's total value if the pipeline is linked with LNG terminal in Georgia's Kulevi. Ukraine plans to accept the gas at a special terminal to be constructed at the Yuzhny Commercial Sea Port," the source said.
Construction of a branch from the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline to Kulevi would help to boost the terminal's transshipments to 20 billion cubic meters of gas from the current 10 billion cubic meters.
Ukraine has no gas terminals in ports so far. Last week, Kiev completed a feasibility study to construct a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on the Ukrainian shore of the Black Sea worth 846 million euros. The project is to be financed by a consortium of investors. The terminal's capacity is projected at 10 billon cubic meters with a possibly to double.
Ukraine has been seeking to revise a 2009 gas contract with Russia signed by former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko for over a year, claiming that prices are excessively high. Kiev, which currently purchases only Russian gas, is trying to diversify its gas imports.
Copyright 2012 Prime-Tass Business News Agency. All Rights Reserved.
(Originally published April 5, 2012, in Prime-Tass English-language Business Newswire.)