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Bernotat - Gazprom loses interest in E.ON’s Hungarian assets - extended

Russian gas giant Gazprom is no longer interested in acquiring German utility E.ON’s Hungarian assets as part of an asset swap agreement connected to the Siberian natural gas field Yuzhno-Russkoye, Russian daily Kommersant quoted E.ON CEO Wolf Bernotat as saying, cited by Interfax. Gazprom to build electricity plants in Germany.

As for whether Gazprom had categorically decided to pass on E.ON’s Hungarian assets, Bernotat said: “I cannot say anything specific about the talks until we agree with Gazprom, but its interest has shifted to gas electric stations in the EU.” E.ON and Gazprom in July 2006 signed a basic agreement to swap a stake of up to 25% in the Yuzhno-Russkoye field, the resource base for the Baltic Sea Nord Stream gas pipeline between Russia and Germany with 700 billion cubic metres in proved reserves and 500 billion cubic metres in recoverable reserves, for E.ON’s Hungarian assets.

However, according to Bernotat, Gazprom’s interest has now shifted to E.ON’s assets in Western Europe. “We have always negotiated about that, including through asset swaps,” he said. “And in the negotiating process the subject narrowed to discussion of the Hungarian assets. However, after a certain amount of time, Gazprom decided to concentrate on gas electric stations in Western Europe. Therefore we are now talking about a participating stake in E.ON’s gas electric station holdings in Europe, including in Germany, and on joint construction of new stations,” he said. (

The Luxembourgian Soteg will be Gazprom’s partner in one of the plants as well E.ON (along with BASF and the Dutch Gasunie) is Gazprom’s partner in the Nord Stream project, which will bring 27.5 billion cu. m. of Russian gas to Germany by 2010 by second, with a second pipeline of equal capacity opening up in 2012.

E.ON head Wulf Bernotat told Kommersant at the end of last month that the construction of electric plants was being considered as part of a deal to allow E.ON into the Yuzhno-Russkoe natural gas deposit, with reserves of 700 million cubic meter of gas. Experts estimate that each electric plant will cost about $1 billion. Bernotat said that Gazprom and E.ON were in negotiations over the construction of electric plants in Great Britain and Italy as well. Gazprom deputy chairman Alexander Medvedev told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that Gazprom subsidiary Gazprom Germania was considering sites in Brandenburg and on the Baltic Sea for the plants, which will run on gas from Russia. (