Iran, Georgia Firm Sign 4-Month Gas Export Contract

Iran, Georgia Firm Sign 4-Month Gas Export Contract Iran, Georgia Firm Sign 4-Month Gas Export Contract

The National Iranian Gas Export Company has signed a contract to export natural gas to a privately-owned company in Georgia under a four-month pilot agreement, NIGEC director said on Sunday.

“Iran will supply a total of 40 million cubic meters of gas (around 333,000 cubic meters per day) to the Georgian International Energy Corporation over four months,” Alireza Kameli was quoted as saying by Shana.

Established in 2005, GIEC engages in import and distribution of gas to industrial customers, including cement, glass and chemical manufacturers.

GIEC, which is a subsidiary of the largest holding company in the Georgian Industrial Group, is also involved in the generation and transmission of energy from the country’s hydroelectric plants and coal-fired power plants.

Kameli did not say when exports would begin, but noted that for the contract to be carried out, permission should first be obtained from Armenia, which shares borders with both Iran and Georgia.

  Tbilisi Says Uninformed

Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told IRNA last week that Iran has signed a contract with a Georgian gas company, hoping that it would be finalized, in cooperation with Armenia, by March 2017.

Zanganeh and Armenia's Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Levon Yolyan discussed the agreement on exporting natural gas to Georgia through Armenia in a meeting in Tehran on Tuesday.

This is while Mariam Valishvili, Georgia's deputy energy minister, told Trend News Agency on Saturday that the Georgian Ministry of Energy has no information on the conclusion of a contract for the import of Iranian gas to the Caucasian state.

“Georgian private companies are not banned from signing such contracts, however, in this case, it must be submitted to the Georgian government for registration,” she said.

Valishvili noted that the Georgian gas pipeline infrastructure is controlled by the state.

She also said that Iran's natural gas can be transferred to Georgia through Armenia or Azerbaijan, as both countries have the necessary infrastructure.

The Georgian said Iran as a major player in the global gas market and the country has often discussed its interest in Iranian gas imports.

Valishvili said that preliminary negotiations on this issue were held with Iran, but the two sides hadput gas talks on hold in the past few months. She did not elaborate.

At present, the Republic of Azerbaijan is the main supplier of gas to Georgia. Small volumes are also supplied from Russia.