Rus News Journal

Beltransgaz privatisation

" is not necessary the Russian pipe

; Gazprom and the government of Belarus in the middle of May there will begin negotiations about creation of joint venture on the basis of privatised joint-stock company Beltransgaz . Negotiations will be difficult: yesterday it became known that the Belarus government considers three variants of privatisation Beltransgaza and any of them does not answer completely to wishes Gazprom .
the Question on participation Gazprom in gas-transport system of Belarus it was discussed at level of presidents of two countries at the summit of heads of the states CIS in Dushanbe in the end of April. Following the results of the summit the television of Belarus has informed that the republic estimates joint-stock company Beltransgaz in $2,1 billion Yesterday representatives Beltransgaza and Gazprom have told about the launching sites at negotiations about creation of the joint venture on the basis of the Belarus company. Negotiations will begin after May, 9th, but already it is now obvious that positions of the parties do not coincide.
Stanislav Gidranovich, the assistant to the general director Beltransgaza in interview has characterised three variants of creation of the joint venture comprehensible to Belarus. As he said, 50 % plus one share of company will be fixed in state property. Nearby 1 % of actions will get to labour collective Beltransgaza . The destiny of 48,99 % of actions of joint-stock company can be discussed only. According to the first variant, they can be sold at open auction, where Gazprom can act in a role of the usual buyer. The second variant - stage-by-stage privatisation joint-stock company under the scheme realised by Belarus at the petrochemical enterprises. to Gazprom the role of the strategic investor in this case is offered. The third variant, which in Beltransgaze Consider optimum, - sale of 30 % of actions of joint-stock company at open auction and an exchange of the remained papers for a share Gazprom in a gas pipeline Yamal - Europe, passing on territory of Belarus.
all three variants assume that Gazprom will enter in Beltransgaz after definition of market cost of the company. Balance cost of actives Beltransgaza makes about $600 million whereas balance cost of the Russian share in a gas pipeline Yamal - Europe exceeds $900 million, and after start of four compressor stations (Krupsky and Slonimsky in the end of 2004, Orshansky and Minsk - in the end of 2005) will make $1 billion
Therefore Gazprom insists that the joint venture should be created before definition of market cost Beltransgaza . Belarus intends to sell the actives at the market price. A disputable position as the pipe without our gas costs nothing - has declared zampredpravlenija Gazprom Alexander Ryazanov.
moreover, Gazprom considers incorrect desire of Belarus to reserve more 50 % of actions Beltransgaza . We should have not less than 50 % of gas-transport system of Belarus - mister Ryazanov speaks.
we will remind that by July, 1st, 2003 under the interstate agreement of Russia and Belarus on development in gas branch of the joint venture should be created anyway - differently revision of arrangements at the price and volumes of deliveries of gas " can threaten Belarus; Gazprom . Byelorussians have fulfilled the promise, aktsionirovali ` Beltransgaz `, is today all necessary to start negotiations. By July, 1st we will necessarily make the decision - mister Ryazanov has promised.
NATALIA - the MUSHROOM, Minsk; DMITRY - BUTRIN