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29 Oct 2015

Plans for storing more natural gas underground in Belarus

MOSCOW, 29 October (BelTA) – Gazprom intends to increase the capacity of Belarusian underground gas storage facilities, Gazprom’s press service told BelTA after Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vladimir Semashko met with Gazprom Chairman of the Board Alexei Miller in Moscow on 29 October.

According to the source, the sides discussed a large number of bilateral cooperation matters. It was noted that Gazprom reliably supplies Belarusian consumers with the necessary amounts of natural gas. Over 13 billion m3 of natural gas was supplied in January-September 2015. The transit of Russian natural gas via Belarus to CIS and non-CIS states, to Russia’s Kaliningrad Oblast is stable. In January-September 2015 over 33 billion m3 of natural gas crossed Belarus in transit.

The sides paid attention to preparations for the autumn-winter period of 2015-2016. Increasing the capacity of Belarusian underground gas storage facilities is part of the effort. By the start of the extraction season their potential daily output will be raised by 9.7% to 34 million m3 of natural gas, with the operational reserve of natural gas at 1.07 billion m3.

Vladimir Semashko and Alexei Miller discussed progress in implementing the roadmap of the project designed to expand Gazprom’s use of Belarus-made high-tech products and technologies. In particular, the enterprises capable of making import-substituting equipment for Gazprom are now being audited. In January-September 2015 Gazprom bought over RUB320 million worth of equipment and materials from Belarusian manufacturers or more than three times as much as in 2014.

The joint work to develop the gas engine fuel market in Belarus has a lot of potential. At present there are 27 gas refueling stations in Belarus, with the construction of another five in progress. Gazprom intends to build another 15 stations by 2020. The project to build a facility for small-scale liquefied natural gas production in Belarus is under consideration. The liquefied natural gas is intended as engine fuel for automobile and railroad transport.

The sides discussed progress in building the multifunctional complex Gazprom Center in Minsk. The work proceeds on schedule and will be completed in 2018. Work is now in progress to make the foundations for the main administrative building and the hotel with a congress center.

Gazprom’s active participation in the implementation of social projects in Belarus was noted during the meeting. In particular, the daughter enterprise Gazprom Transgaz Belarus has backed the national healthcare programs aimed at improving medical assistance available to children with oncological diseases and at providing aid to children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

As part of the Gazprom for Children program sport facilities will be commissioned in the Belarusian cities of Mozyr and Orsha in 2015. The construction of the first startup complex of the sport and recreation complex that features swimming pools will be completed in Osipovichi in 2016.

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