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Experts call on gov’t to review gas supply contract with Azerbaijan

Against the backdrop of falling global natural gas prices and their rise in Georgia, experts call on the government to review the contract with Azerbaijan for the supply  of  natural gas.

Former energy ombudsman told CBW that the price of gas in the country  may not so much be linked to the global rates of natural gas, as to bilateral agreements between governments, some of which depend on the fluctuation of prices, while others don’t.

He says that if the contract is not tied to the price of gas, the price  variability will not be  reflected on the natural gas imported  to Georgia.

Former energy ombudsman assesses the tariff increase for legal entities as an unjust action and says that consumer tariff is subsidized at the expense of the commercial user.

On the question of whether or not the gas tariff will be increased for individuals in the near future, David Ebralidze says that an increase in  the price of natural gas will cause  social discontent in the country.

Gocha Shonia, a member of the  Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission (GNERC), explains  natural gas price hikes by a drop in the value of the national currency.

He  claims that the commercial sector users consume the imported natural gas buying in foreign currency. Consequently, due to exchange rate fluctuations, the price increased for this category of users.

“In case if GEL continues falling, the gas prices will hike , because the companies are obliged to pay the cost of gas in the USD,”-  Gocha Shonia adds.