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BANKING

PGNiG and VNG mull joining Polish and German gas systems.

The natural gas monopolist PGNiG and the German gas company Verbundnetz Gas AG (VNG) are considering returning to the idea of joining gas systems of Poland and Germany, PGNiG's deputy head Miroslaw Dorbut said. According to him, the gas connection could be built by 2012, and the capacity can be at 2-3bn cubic meters, giving 15-20% usage in Poland. In 2004, VNG and PGNiG signed an agreement to co-operate, whereby the companies would have been registered by the end of 2004, and the union of PGNiG's and VNG'ds gas systems would have taken place by the end of 2006. However, some years ago, plans were frozen. Dorbut also said on Wednesday that PGNiG would sell about 800mn cubic meters less of gas than in 2008, which means that company would decrease the level, below 14bn cubic meters. The reason of the sales decreasing is lower gas demand in the face of the current economic crisis, he explained. Poland uses about 14bn cubic metres of the high methane gas, annually, as the economy ministry reported. Imports from the eastern side is 9bn cubic metres annually (in 2007 was 8.7bn cubic metres, including 6.5bn cubic metres from Russia, and from Uzbekistan - about 2.3bn

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