Ukraine will need to import 7.23 billion cubic meters of natural gas August 2014 through March 2015 to ensure the economy's steady operation during the high demand season, the government said on Friday.
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The government expects most of the imports to come from Europe via several gas pipeline routes, since supplies from Russia were cut to zero June 16 following a dispute over prices and a debt payment schedule.
The figures were outlined in a government resolution on gas-use and import targets for the period, given the halt to imports from Russia. The resolution was approved on Wednesday.
The government estimated that Ukraine would consume 30.23 Bcm of gas in the period, with available resources estimated at 23 Bcm. These resources include 13.5 Bcm in domestic gas output and 9.5 Bcm of gas in underground storage facilities. This leaves 7.23 Bcm of demand that must be met by imports, the government said.
Since Ukraine is able to import up to 43 million cubic meters/d of European gas, it has capacity to bring in as much as 10.5 Bcm of gas in the August-March period, the government said.
The country can import gas from Europe via Hungary and Poland, and aims to open a new supply route -- via Slovakia -- in September.
MEASURES TO CUT GAS USE AUG-MAR
"The capacity of these routes -- subject to economical use of energy during the heating season of 2014-2015 -- allows for meeting the needs of domestic consumers by importing enough gas without involving Russian supplies," the government said.
The government in the resolution outlined measures curbing gas consumption across various sectors of the economy.
The measures are aimed at cutting gas use by 30% in the manufacturing and municipal sectors, while consumers that rely on government funding, such as schools and hospitals, would have to cut gas consumption by 10% in the period.
The government expects Ukraine's manufacturing sector to consume 7.53 Bcm in August-March and the municipal sector to use 5.83 Bcm in the same period.
The consumers that rely on government funding are expected to use 630 million cu m of gas in the period, the government said.
The household sector is expected to consume 13.56 Bcm, while gas extracting and transporting companies will probably need 2.66 Bcm to run their equipment and for other technological needs, it said.