Written by Maria Levina
BISHKEK (TCA) — On January 30, at the extraordinary meeting of the Kyrgyz Government, Russian gas giant Gazprom presented a General Scheme for gas supply and gasification of Kyrgyzstan until 2030.
The meeting, chaired by Kyrgyz Prime Minister Joomart Otorbayev, was attended by Gazprom Chairman Alexey Miller.
On April 10, 2014, Gazprom purchased Kyrgyzstan's state gas company KyrgyzGas for $1. Gazprom bought Gazprom-Kyrgyzstan LLC, to which all gas transmission assets in Kyrgyzstan had been transferred. From that moment the Russian company is responsible for the supply of natural gas and investments in the gas sector of Kyrgyzstan.
Gazprom bought the Kyrgyz gas transport company with all its debts worth about $40 million. In addition, Gazprom committed to invest at least 20 billion rubles in the modernization and reconstruction of the gas infrastructure in Kyrgyzstan.
The General Scheme includes gasification and gas supply of all regions of the country. According to Gazprom Promgaz General Director Yuri Spector, 411 towns and over 845,000 apartments and houses will be gasified. The distribution pipelines will reach 2,705,000 kilometers, and 60% of Kyrgyzstan will be gasified. The capital Bishkek will be gasified at 74%.
Spector also reported on the problems related to poor technical condition of gas supply in the country.
"The audit of gas supply facilities revealed poor technical condition of most of the facilities, and extensive reconstruction is needed to restore them. In the north, Tashkent-Bishkek-Almaty gas pipeline will be reconstructed and new sections constructed including the Sokuluk compressor station in the Chui oblast," he said.
To ensure reliable gas supply to southern Kyrgyzstan, the North-South gas pipeline to be constructed, linking together the entire gas transportation system in the country.
Gazprom promised to improve the reliability of existing gas transportation system of Kyrgyzstan within three years. Between 2015 and 2017, an investment program worth 45.5 billion soms will be implemented, Miller said.
Last year's stressful situation caused by the termination of gas supplies to southern Kyrgyzstan by neighboring Uzbekistan forced the Government to seek solutions, and the Russian company will help solve this problem.
The company plans to increase gas supplies to Kyrgyz enterprises and population from 22% to 60%.
"We initially planned to invest 20 billion rubles in the development of the gas system in Kyrgyzstan. But having analyzed the scope of work, we realized that it requires greater investments," said Miller. "All of our commitments will be fulfilled," he promised.
"Gasification of Kyrgyzstan needs joint efforts. Therefore, local authorities have to obtain land and harmonize all documents, and prepare consumers to receive gas," concluded Miller.
Gazprom has increased its investment in Kyrgyzstan 1.7-fold, the Kyrgyz Premier said. The country's gas consumption will grow almost fivefold, up to a billion cubic meters per year.
Gazprom advises Kyrgyzstan to transfer motor vehicles to natural gas. To do this, construction of modular gas stations has been planned.
Otorbayev stressed that construction of modular gas stations is another ambitious project of Gazprom in Kyrgyzstan, and the government is ready to support its implementation.
This project is a priority, because gas fuel is economical and environmentally friendly. It will solve the problem of saving the state budget and increase the efficiency of agriculture, Otorbayev added.
Gazprom has analyzed Kyrgyzstan's hydrocarbon resources, but the analysis has shown no significant oil and gas reserves. Kyrgyzstan's oil and gas deposits are located in the south of the country. The General Scheme of gas supply and gasification of Kyrgyzstan includes the phased implementation of exploration program for prospective blocks Kugart and Eastern Mailu-Suu-4.
Resources from other fields require additional geophysical research, which is complicated by the fact that licenses belong to various owners.
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