Regional gas companies after compensating difference in tariffs must fully pay off their debts for gas or start bankruptcy – Naftogaz head
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine will be presented with a bill to compensate gas distribution system operators (regional gas companies) for the difference in tariffs with subsequent repayment of their debts for the supplied gas, Head of NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy Yuriy Vitrenko said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
"If regional gas companies receive compensation then this money immediately goes to Naftogaz through treasury accounts so that it cannot be stolen or used in any other way. Thus, the debt for gas arising from the regional gas companies is closed. The corresponding amount of debt to Naftogaz remains, private owners must either close it through their own funds, additionally capitalizing the regional gas suppliers, or go bankrupt," he said.
Vitrenko said that in the current conditions of the war, it is irresponsible to raise tariffs for regional gas companies to economically justified ones, shifting them to the population, so the state plans to compensate for the corresponding difference from the state budget.
"We understand that the tariffs of regional gas companies have recently been less than economically justified and they covered the cost. Their tariff included a gas price of UAH 7 per cubic meter, while on the market it was UAH 40 per cubic meter. Objectively, due to state regulation, all their expenses were not covered, but there are reasonable suspicions, abuses, cases of withdrawal of money from these companies," he said.
According to the head of Naftogaz, after paying compensation for the difference in tariffs, gas distribution system operators will no longer have arguments why they, in turn, have debts for gas supplied or taken by them for their own production and technological needs.
Vitrenko also confirmed Naftogaz's readiness to take over the management of regional gas companies from the Asset Recovery and Management Agency (ARMA) if such a decision is made.