German utility company RWE has started delivering gas to Ukraine under a contract signed a couple of years ago. The alternative supply comes at a time when Kyiv has been facing hefty price hikes for Russian gas.
German power supplying giant RWE announced April 15 that it had begun delivering gas to Ukraine. The Essen-based company said the deliveries fell under a basic agreement signed with Kyiv in 2012.
RWE added the framework contract with the state-owned Naftogaz firm allowed it to deliver up to 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Ukraine annually.
The German company's RWE Supply and trading subsidiary said the gas was being pumped into Ukraine, using pipelines in neighboring Poland.
Diversification in progress
The utility firm said current gas deliveries came from the company's overall portfolio. According to figures released in 2012, 31 percent of RWE's gas comes from Russia, 24 percent from Norway and 21 percent from the Netherlands, with the rest originating from smaller partners.
Following a string of price hikes for Russian gas to Ukraine and Gazprom deliveries having been made dependent on advance payments, Kyiv had said it was aiming to look for supplies from Germany and France.
RWE did not immediately specify the price Ukraine would have to pay for its gas, but said it reflected European wholesale cost structures and transport fees.
hg/pfd (dpa, Reuters)