Ukrainian gas companies are preparing to test exports to central Europe after the country has more than halved entry-exit tariffs for this year, a source close to discussions told ICIS.
Several companies will be looking to export volume to Hungary and Slovakia to test the readiness of the transmission system operator Ukrtransgaz (UTG) and the customs regimes to new types of operations.
The Ukrainian grid operator Ukrtransgaz is also in talks with its Polish counterpart GAZ-SYSTEM to allow backhaul flows on the Hermanowicze interconnector and Ukrainian gas companies could equally export to Romania if the country’s grid operator Transgaz agreed to create a new interconnection point.
Furthermore, UTG is looking to introduce short-haul services for European companies looking to inject gas in Ukraine’s storage facilities, taking advantage of the country’s 31 billion cubic metre (bcm) storage capacity as well as cheaper transport tariffs from the border to the storage sites and back.
If successful, the move would help Ukraine to diversify its regional role, being not only the main transport route for Russian gas to Europe and an importer of volumes from European countries, but also an exporter in its own right.