London decision to shut down coal power benefits Nord Stream 2 - Gazprom
Steps by the UK authorities to raise environmental standards for electricity generation are creating additional demand for gas, including Russian gas that can be supplied via the future Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Gazprom deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said.
"The UK is perhaps the only European country that is not only talking about protecting the climate, but has also made a decision to close coal-fired power plants and introduced economic measures to make gas more competitive by introducing an additional tax on CO2 emissions," Medvedev said in an interview on Rossiya 24 television.
This means that the UK will need additional gas, possibly 8 billion cubic meters, 10 bcm or even 12 bcm, in the not so distant future, he said.
"And we're seeing interest from major British companies that would like to sign a contract for gas supplies with us now already. And the Nord Stream gas pipeline would make it possible to deliver gas not only to Central Europe, but also to the UK," Medvedev said.
It was reported earlier that the consortium for the construction of Nord Stream 2 includes Anglo-Dutch major Shell.
Commenting on the role of LNG in supplying Europe with gas, Medvedev said: "There's a lot of talk about LNG, but for some reason it currently prefers to go to other regions. Historically, after all, LNG supplies are for long distances. But we're next to Europe and can efficiently deliver our gas."
He mentioned London's constructive position in approving Gazprom's purchase of a stake in Wintershall Nordzee B.V. and said that hopefully there will be a similar approach in Norway's position on Gazprom's acquisition of a stake in OMV Norge, in which Oslo currently plans to restrict the Russian company's interest to 25%.
"Deals to exchange assets, not only in Russia but also in the West, take a long, long time for assessment and processing. In the current situation we are continuing to work with our partners from Austria. We have determined what asset we're interested in; it's an asset in the North Sea. And in the same way at one time we received the necessary approval from the UK to enter into assets that were located in the territorial waters and economic zone of the UK, despite all the skepticism and, seemingly, not the best relations with the UK. After all, this is a good example of the fact that what happens in the political arena does not interfere with making long-term decisions that also create a foundation for improving political relations," Medvedev said.