ArmInfo. The actual tariff for Russian natural gas supplied to Armenia is not a subject for review, Garegin Baghramyan, the PSRC tariff policy department head stated to ArmInfo reporter.
According to Baghramyan, there is no option possible for tariff decrease at the present stage - at least because there is no legal basis existing for that. " Based on the results of gas tariff latest review, new terms became valid from January 1 this year, and from the point of law, the process of another tariff review could be initiated not earlier than after 6 months. But even after the expiration of 6 month term, the expert sees no resources to decrease it.
The PSRC representative reminded that Gazprom Armenia JSC, while submitting its claim for tariff review on November 1, 2016, considered the possible decrease of transit cost for gas supplies, and the expectations related to the consumption volumes increase at the cost of reduction of tariffs for natural gas sold to Armenia. The claim considered also the funding expected from Gazprom Armenia JSC sole shareholder - Gazprom (Russia), which should be allocated within the purpose to increase the gas consumption and to settle this high level at a sustainable mark in Armenia. Considering all these factors, and first the prospective of costs for natural gas transit through the territory of Georgia, as well as while studying the structure of gas and expenditures related to the system maintenance and operation, it becomes clear that company's margin forms about USD 50. In this context also there is no option to decrease gas tariff.
Garegin Baghramyan calls those who forces the circulation of whispers regarding possible reduction of gas tariffs, to get closer first with the order of such tariffs capsulation - at least at the website of PSRC. In such case. All these empty talks would become more realistic. "In such case opponents could come out with objections and voice their disagreement with certain item of expenditure, or could offer their vision of tariff capsulation and to justify their position in a stronger way," Garegin Baghramyan said. According to Baghramyan, peculating the figures, certain people forget the fact that the last claim of Gazprom JSC assumed also the diversification of subscribers and tariffs per 6 groups. In this case, calculating the margin between the exported and sales price of the natural gas, it is necessary to proceed from the average value, and not the tariff for any certain group of consumers." The average price forms USD 255, about USD 40-42 of which is the share of VAT, and USD 150 is the export price of gas exported. Hence, the price of gas for company makes about USD 200. Such components are not subject for review, it is impossible. We could talk only about system operation, maintenance and amortization expenditures reduction," Baghramyan mentioned. But even these reductions are unable to lead to desired price reductions, and it is impossible to imagine something over norm in the USD 50 margin. According to Gazprom JSC expectations in respect to gas consumption volumes increase, it could be said that the weather also supported the plans of the company. According to PSRC, in December 2016 gas consumption formed 97,3 mln cubic meters (583,316 subscribers). And in December 2015 the consumption stood at the mark of 92 mln cubic meters (589,389 subscribers). In January 2017 gas consumption formed 128,5 mln cubic meters by 587 thousand subscribers, and in January 2016, having more subscribers (593 thousand) the consumption volume was less - 111,9 mln cubic meters. The power energy consumption volumes show growth as well: in December 2016 the consumption formed 226,4 mln kWh, versus 209.3 in December 2016. The consumption for January only formed 239,22 mln kWh versus 209,3 mln kWh in January 2016.
To remind, new gas tariffs are implemented in Armenia from January 1, 2017, after the Gazprom-Armenia suggested to decrease basic tariffs for 5,2-6% The subscribers having a right to social allowances and consuming less than 600 cu m of gas per annum will pay 100 thsd AMD per 1 thsd cu m; 2. greenhouse facilities will pay 212 conventional units per 1 thsd cu m from November 1 till March 31; 3. processing enterprises will pay 212 conventional units per 1 thsd cu m; 4. subscribers consuming less than 10 thsd cu m per month will pay 139 thsd AMD per 1 thsd cu m; 5. subscribers consuming more than 10 thsd cu m of gas per month will pay 242.1 conventional units per 1 thsd cu m. For every consequent thousand of cu m they will be charged USD 212. Along with that, there are no bonuses set out for gas filling stations, budget funded entities and TPPs generating electric power for domestic consumption.