Management Committee examined the issue on Gazprom’s perticipation in privatizing the Slovakian-based SPP gas transportation company
Gazprom’s Management Committee considered today the issue on the Company’s participation in acquiring, as Consortium member, a stake in the SPP company (Slovakia).
The Management Committee decided to keep taking all necessary measures to exercise Gazprom’s option rights to buy out a stake in SPP, taking into account the outcomes of the talks held in February 2004 with the Company’s Consortium partners, Ruhrgas AG (Germany) and Gaz de France.
Slovakia is one of Gazprom’s core partners in Eastern Europe, primarily, due to the role the country plays in transmitting Russian gas to major European markets. Some 80% of total Russian gas volumes piped to Western Europe are transited via Slovakian gas pipelines.
The SPP company is a monopolist in transmitting, storing and distributing natural gas in Slovakia. The company owns 4 gas mains with total length of 2,268 km and throughput capacity of 93 bcm per annum. The throughput capacity of the Slovakian gas transmission system may, in the long run, be increased to 20 bcm per year. SPP has access to Slovakian and Czech gas storage facilities with total capacity of 1.8 bcm.
In 2003 Russian gas deliveries to Slovakia, including supplies for gas transit and to compressor stations, totaled 7.3 bcm.
In August 2003, the Slovakian Government announced a tender to privatize a 49% stake in SPP. In March 2002, the Consortium including Gazprom, Gaz de France and Ruhrgas AG won the tender.
Under the agreement achieved on July 11, 2002, Ruhrgas and Gaz de France acquired on a par 49% of SPP’s shares, Gazprom’s stake (16.33%), inclusive, granting the latter a 2-year option to buy out these shares. The transaction amount totaled USD 2,765 million.
In February 2004, the parties reached an accord to prolong Gazprom’s deadline to buy out the shares till 31 December 2005 and determined main channels to finance the deal.
Information Directorate, OAO Gazprom