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Poland to pay for Gazprom’s stake in Europolgas

Poland has come to the conclusion how to write off a portion of its debt to GAZPROM - it will pay for maintaining the Russian company's share in the EUROPOLGAS. The fact is that EUROPOLGAS shareholders are expected to approve the issue of shares worth $200 million on June 21. Poland will pay for GAZPROM's stake thereby reducing its debt to the Russian gas monopoly company by $96m.

GAZPROM now holds 48% of EUROPOLGAS shares, while another 48% belong to the Polish state-run PGNIG company and 4% are in the hands of GAS TRADING, an intermediary in gas sales. EUROPOLGAS has to repay the $1.3-billion debt to GAZPROM, including $700m in loans from GAZPROMBANK and the remainder for pipe supplies. A portion of the debt has been extended to 2019.

EUROPOLGAS will use $200m raised from the issue of shares to build three compressor stations, which will help attain a projected annual capacity of 33 billion cubic meters at the first line of the Yamal Europe gas pipeline. Now the line can handle 20 bcm of gas.

(NewsBase 18.vi.02)

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