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Gazprom to open underground gas storage in Austria

ST. PETERSBURG, April 11 (RIA Novosti) - Russian energy giant Gazporm, Germany's RAJ AJ and Russian-German Wingas are planning to open an underground gas storage facility in Haidach, Austria.

Sergei Khan, head of Gazprom's underground gas storage department, told a forum on Russia's fuel and energy sector in St. Petersburg Wednesday that each of the partners would have a 33% share in the new facility.

Khan said: "We have [signed] gas storage contracts with a number of countries, including Germany, Austria and England, and we are now taking up ownership."

Gazprom also plans to build an underground gas storage facility with a capacity of 0.5 billion cubic meters of gas in Belgium, and is considering launching underground gas storage projects in China, Pakistan, India, Iran, Romania and Italy.

Gazprom has already established and will finalize the registration of a new subsidiary to handle underground gas storage, Gazprom-PHG, before the yearend as part of restructuring.

"Before the yearend Gazprom's new subsidiary will go on stream," Khan said.

Anatoly Sizonenko has been appointed director general of the new company.

Khan said that ten independent companies had spun off from Gazprom's regional subsidiaries, which handle gas transportation.

"By late this year Gazprom-PHG will take over these independent companies, and a unified body will be established," Khan said.

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