April 30, 2013 13:48
Serbian 2012 gas imports: little-known intermediary has half of market
MOSCOW. April 30 (Interfax) - Russian-Serbian Trading Corporation a.d. (RST), an intermediary in which Russian gas giant Gazprom (RTS: GAZP) declares ownership of just a minority stake, provided half of the natural gas imported by Serbia in 2012.
Gazprom's direct deliveries to Serbia dropped by half last year.
Serbia received 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas from the Gazprom group, including 740 million cubic meters from Gazprom Export and the rest in gas from Central Asian producers.
The Central Asian gas was supplied through RST, according to Gazprom's earnings report. Gazprom sold the gas to RST for 7.365 billion rubles, or about $310 per 1,000 cubic meters, compared with the $400 per 1,000 cu m Gazprom charged for direct deliveries. Thus, the Central Asian gas purchases provided 2 billion rubles in savings for Serbia. Gazprom lost nothing on the transaction because, unlike Russian gas, Central Asian gas is not subject to a 30% export duty.
RST delivered the gas on a give-and-take basis to Metanolsko-sircetni kompleks, a methanol-nitrogen complex in Kikinda, and the HIP-Azotara fertilizer plant in Pancevo.
RST is owned by two Switzerland-registered firms: Gazprom Schweiz AG from Zug (25.05%) and A-Energy Holding SA from Lugano (74.95%). Gazprom, Gazprom Export and Gazprom Schweiz, Gazprom's operator for resale of Central Asian gas in Europe, all declined to comment on the ownership structure of A-Energy Holding.
As it is, Russian gas is delivered to Serbia via an intermediary, Jugorosgas, which is co-owned by Gazprom, Gazprombank (RTS: GZPR) in the form of the Centrex trading company, and Serbia's state-run Srbijagas.
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