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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Alexander Novak: Russia does not have enough gas


Contrary to the promise of Dmitry Medvedev, which he made in 2007 as Deputy Prime Minister, about the possibility of complete gasification of whole Russia within 10 years, all Russian regions will never get “blue fuel”. This was stated by Minister of energy Alexander Novak. According to him, not in all areas to replace coal for gas is economically feasible.


photo: Natalia Muslinkina

Alexander Novak

However, experts have a different opinion. They believe that Russia cannot provide itself with “blue fuel” due to the fact that the gasification process does not want to connect independent producers of gas.

Over the last 10-11 years, Russia has considerably advanced in the issue of gasification of the regions. From 2005 to 2015 the average level of support of subjects of the country increased from 53.3% to 66.2%. Last year managed to add another cent. However, the solution of this problem is still far away. Therefore, already forgotten the promise of Dmitry Medvedev in April 2007, about the real possibility to completely gasify all of Russia during the ten-year period, can be considered outstanding.

The Prime Minister has repeatedly been criticized for it officials and industry representatives. “It’s a shame when a country that produces the most gas in the world, however, has such a level of gasification of the population,”— said Medvedev, for example, in July of last year. However, this time he has lowered the bar with a perfect result up to 90-95%, noting that while this problem can be considered solved.

However, while Russia, though gas is the main power in the world, do not. According to “Gazprom”, the level of gasification in the country can reach 85%, but no more. In recent years this process has seriously stalled because of the decline in economic growth and energy efficiency. To speed up the gasification Dmitry Medvedev instructed by reducing the lengthy procedures for connection to distribution networks.

However, even this may not help. As stated by Minister of energy Alexander Novak at the meeting of the Public Council of Ministry, Russia’s territory will never be gasified at 100%. “In some regions we won’t have the transmission infrastructure,” the Minister said. In this regard, according to him, there is better to use liquefied gas or coal.

However, there is another reason why the gasification of the regions of the country is progressing much slower than expected by the officials. The fact that this process is currently only Gazprom and the monopoly to go almost the whole investment burden. Since 2005, the group has invested in these projects 270 billion. Experts believe that for more than a decade, this is clearly insufficient and must be connected to the task of independent producers of “blue fuel”.

But they just don’t want to take the case. Private companies are not engaged in gasification due to the lack of economic incentives and obligations. They require in exchange for participation in such projects reduce the tax burden on new and under construction network, as well as providing the opportunity to take in gratuitous use of state land for gasification projects. However, while the state is not ready to take such steps. As noted by Dmitry Medvedev last year, “Gazprom”, of course, a national treasure. But we have other companies that are also involved in gasification. From a legal point of view, they differ little from “Gazprom” — they are joint-stock companies have good profits, large volumes of production.”

However, in the absence of dialogue between the state and private mining structures one hundred percent gasification of Russia will remain only on paper. “Alexander Novak said that full gasification impossible. But impossible is when there is no fuel or money. In Russia many years operates the gasification program. The country is the world’s largest supplier of “blue fuel”, and a large part of its population is forced to heat with wood, and this is not a metaphor. The gasification processes can be expensive, long and difficult. But it is a real challenge with a reasonable and realistic budget. The fact that in 100 km from Moscow, there is no gas in 2017, not to mention the province, should push the government and manufacturers to address this problem”, — says senior analyst “Alpari” Anna Bodrov.

source

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