PRAGUE, August 16 (RIA Novosti) - Testing of reverse-flow gas supplies from Europe to Ukraine began at the compressor station of Velke Kapusany in eastern Slovakia, the official representative of Eustream told RIA Novosti Saturday.
“At 10 am Central European Time [08:00 GMT] Slovak pipeline operator Eustream and Ukraine started tests of reverse-flow gas at the compressor station of Velke Kapusany and at the reconstructed Voyany-Uzhgorod gas pipeline. The testing phase includes the launch, verification, and reliability checks of the pipeline. Commercial use of the pipeline will start on September 2,” Gabriel Beer said.
He added that Eustream’s gas deliveries will first amount to 3.2 billion cubic meters a year. As of March 1, 2015 the pipeline will be working at its maximum capacity of 10 billion cubic meters a year.
Starting June 16, Russian gas giant Gazprom was forced to enact an advance payment scheme for gas deliveries to Ukraine after multiple rounds of talks on the new price and debt repayment mediated by EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger failed.
The Russian compromise was a $100 discount to the contract price, bringing it down to $385, as well as a phased debt repayment scheme, calculated using the discount before June 26. Ukraine rejected the offer, dissatisfied with the discount mechanism, as the reduction would have come as a result of lower export duties. Kiev pushed for revisions to the contract itself, deadlocking the negotiations.
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said Kiev’s move to refocus the talks on price revisions rather than Ukraine’s $4.46 billion debt, compounded by Naftogaz' unwillingness to compromise, sabotaged a sensible compromise.