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The breakdown cuts off gas to Armenia2009-01-12 13:20
Tbilisi asserts that the accident on the gas pipeline carrying gas to Armenia would be eliminated without any external assistance.
It will be remembered that on January 9 Georgia blocked Russian gas transit to Armenia on account of "rescue and recovery operations" being carried out as Tbilisi reports. The gas supply was stopped in the morning causing Russian and Armenian energy authorities to get alarmed. By midday Gazprom and its Erevan colleagues from ArmRosgazprom offered assistance to Georgia. However...
"In reply to the proposal of Gazpom OJSC and ArmRosgazprom CJSC to render maximum assistance in the accident elimination Georgia's gas transport company thanked for the offered help and stated that it was going to complete the works on its own by January 12", - RIA-Novosti quotes Gazprom Deputy head of information policy department Igor Volobuyev.
However according to newsarmenia.ru Tbilisi accepted help of ArmRosGazprom specialists. The group of experts from Erevan arrived at the place of the accident in order to survey the situation and render assistance in case of necessity.
Help to Georgian power engineers could really be useful. They have to work under extreme conditions. On January 9, on the day of the accident, there was a snow storm over Georgia's central districts leaving around 160 thousand people without electricity. Now the nature has calmed down but the weather leaves much to be desired.
The concern of both companies - the one supplying and the other receiving gas is quite understandable. Russia pays for gas transit to Armenia by gas itself. 10% of the gas along the pipe belongs to Georgia under the contract. And the latter is not happy about this tariff - the Energy ministry repeatedly asked for the fee rise. Moscow does not do it for now. Some analysts (whose names are not mentioned in the press) consider "repair operations" Georgia's delicate blackmail.
Later the same evening Energy Minister Alexander Khetaguri revealed concrete facts to RIA Novosti. He said that the breakdown had occurred in Gardabansky district. The main 1 m diameter pipeline has four holes in different parts of "Kazakh-Saguramo" section. The minister considers corrosion and the pressure boost due to seasonal growth of gas consumption in Armenia the cause of the accident.
"The gas seepage was serious so this morning we decided to cut gas supply to Armenia. It will take our specialists four days to restore the pipe working 24h", - Khetaguri reported that day.