News

Contracts for gas supplies to and transit across Belarus extended until 2021

A working meeting of Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, with Vladimir Semashko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to the Russian Federation, and Viktor Karankevich, Belarusian Minister of Energy, took place today in Moscow. The parties discussed in detail the issues related to cooperation in the gas sector from 2020 onward.

Alexey Miller and Vladimir Semashko signed the Protocol between Gazprom and the Government of the Republic of Belarus on the pricing procedure for natural gas supplies to Belarus in January and February 2020.

Gazprom and Gazprom Transgaz Belarus signed additional agreements to extend the contracts for gas supplies to and gas transportation across Belarus until 2021. According to the newly-signed documents, the contractual supply and transit volumes in 2020 will remain at the level of 2019.

Background

The contracts between Gazprom and Gazprom Transgaz Belarus for gas supplies to and gas transportation across Belarus were to remain in force until the end of 2019.

 

Gazprom to continue supplying gas to Armenia on same terms in 2020

Gazprom Export and Gazprom Armenia signed an additional agreement to the contract for Russian gas supplies to the Republic of Armenia.

In accordance with the agreement, the price of natural gas at the border between Georgia and Armenia will not change starting from January 1, 2020, and will remain at the level of 2019.

Background

Gazprom Armenia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gazprom, is focused on natural gas supplies to the Armenian market. In addition, the company transports, stores, distributes and sells natural gas, as well as upgrades and expands the gas transmission system and underground gas storage facilities in the Republic of Armenia.

The contract between Gazprom Export and Gazprom Armenia for the supplies of up to 2.5 billion cubic meters of Russian gas per year will be in effect until the end of 2020.

 

Policy paper: National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage: government response to the Low Pay Commission’s Autumn 2019 recommendations

The Low Pay Commission (LPC) has recommended that the hourly rates should increase in April 2020:

  • from £8.21 to £8.72 for workers aged 25 and over (the National Living Wage)
  • from £7.70 to £8.20 for 21 to 24 year olds
  • from £6.15 to £6.45 for 18 to 20 year olds
  • from £4.35 to £4.55 for 16 to 17 year olds
  • from £3.90 to £4.15 for apprentices aged under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship

The government accepts these recommendations, and this document sets out its response.

See the LPC recommendations.

Press release: Energy users save £1 billion on bills in 2019

  • government’s energy price cap safeguards 11 million people, often the most vulnerable and elderly, from overpaying on their gas and electricity
  • combined saving of as much as £1 billion on energy bills in the first year of the price cap
  • new data also shows 4.4 million electricity and 3.6 million gas customers switched supplier in first 9 months of 2019, saving even more

11 million customers have saved as much as £1 billion on their energy bills in 2019, according to new data to mark the first anniversary of the government’s energy price cap.

Research has shown that the cap has saved families on default energy tariffs around £75 to £100 on dual fuel bills this year. This comes as the government pledges to build on the success of the price cap and do more to lower energy bills including by investing £9.2 billion in the energy efficiency of homes, schools and hospitals and giving the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) enhanced powers to tackle consumer rip-offs and bad business practices.

However, with around 60 suppliers now competing in the retail energy market, consumers who switch can still make the biggest savings. Around 4.4 million electricity customers switched supplier in the 9 months to September 2019. Around 3.6 million gas customers switched. Typical households would have saved an average of around £290 on their bills if moving to one of the cheapest deals.

In order to shield those least likely to shop around – including the elderly and most vulnerable – from being charged extra on their dual fuel bills the government introduced the energy price cap on 1 January 2019.

Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, Kwasi Kwarteng, said:

Our bold action to ensure all consumers pay a fair price for their energy is making a real difference to the budgets of up to 11 million households and driving increased competition and innovation in the market which will help keep bills down.

Record numbers of customers have also decided to switch suppliers this year saving themselves an average of around £290 on their bills.

Chief Executive of Ofgem Dermot Nolan said:

The price caps give consumers who are on default deals peace of mind that they pay a fair price for their energy. Ofgem set the cap at a level which required suppliers to cut energy bills by around £1 billion.

Consumers can save more money this winter by shopping around for a better deal. While the cap remains in place, Ofgem will continue to work with government and industry to put in place reforms to get the energy market working for more consumers.

Notes to editors

Research by the Competition and Markets Authority has shown that consumers had been overpaying the ‘Big Six’ energy companies some £1.4 billion a year.

The price cap, continuing through 2020, is set by energy watchdog Ofgem, which review it every 6 months to reflect changes in the cost of supplying energy. This ensures those who do not shop around, often elderly and low-income households, are protected from paying over the odds.

The latest ceiling was set by Ofgem at £1,179 per year for a typical dual fuel bill paid by direct debit.

News story: Government announces pay rise for 2.8 million people

  • Annual pay rise of up to £930 for a full time worker.
  • National Living Wage (NLW) increasing from £8.21 to £8.72.
  • New NLW rate starts on 1 April 2020 and applies to over 25 years olds.

Low-paid workers will receive a 6.2% pay rise with a new National Living Wage (NLW) of £8.72 per hour, the biggest cash increase ever, the Government has announced today.

Nearly 3 million workers are set to benefit from the increases to the NLW and minimum wage rates for younger workers, according to estimates from the independent Low Pay Commission. The rise means Government is on track to meet its current target for the NLW to reach 60% of median earnings by 2020.

The new rate starts on 1 April 2020 and results in an increase of £930 over the year for a full-time worker on the National Living Wage. Younger workers who receive the National Minimum Wage will also see their pay boosted with increases of between 4.6% and 6.5%, dependant on their age, with 21-24 year olds seeing a 6.5% increase from £7.70 to £8.20 an hour.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

Hard work should always pay, but for too long, people haven’t seen the pay rises they deserve.

Our government will put a stop to that, giving nearly three million people from Edinburgh to Eastbourne a well-earned pay rise, including the biggest ever cash boost to the National Living Wage.

But that’s not all. As we enter a new decade, we’re setting our sights higher, to help people earn more over the next five years and level up access to opportunity across our great country.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, said:

We want to end low pay and put more money in the pockets of hard-working families. This latest rise will mean that since we introduced the National Living Wage in 2016, the lowest paid will have had a wage increase of more than £3,600.

But we want to do more to level up and tackle the cost of living, which is why the NLW will increase further to £10.50 by 2024 on current forecasts.

Business and Energy Secretary, Andrea Leadsom, said:

We want to make the UK the best place in the world to work and grow a business. Employment is at a record high and as well as investing to meet that ambition, we also want to make sure that people get to keep more of what they earn.

Our people’s pay rise will put more money into the pockets of millions of hard-working Brits across the country – but we won’t stop there. We want to make the UK the first country in the world to eliminate low pay in the next five years.

The Government has fully accepted the Low Pay Commission’s recommendations after they consulted stakeholders such as unions, businesses and academics, before recommending the NLW and NMW rates to the Government. In September the Chancellor pledged to increase the NLW towards a new target of two-thirds of median earnings by 2024, provided economic conditions allow, which, on current forecasts, would make it around £10.50 per hour.

The introduction of the NLW has already delivered the fastest pay rise for the lowest earners in 20 years, putting more cash into the pockets of those who need it the most. Supported by the NLW, the lowest paid saw their wages grow by 8% above inflation between April 2015 and April 2018.

The Chancellor has also announced his plans to expand the reach of the National Living Wage to cover workers aged 23 and over from April 2021, and to those aged 21 and over within five years. This is expected to benefit around 4 million low paid workers.

The Government will set out more details on the future policy framework, including the important role of the independent Low Pay Commission, by the Spring.

Further information

2020 NMW/NLW rates increases

The increased rates were recommended by the Low Pay Commission, an independent body that advises the government about the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage.

The National Living Wage (for over 25 year olds) will increase 6.2% from £8.21 to £8.72.

The National Minimum Wage will rise across all age groups, including:

  • A 6.5% increase from £7.70 to £8.20 for 21-24 year olds
  • A 4.9% increase from £6.15 to £6.45 for 18-20 year olds
  • A 4.6% increase from £4.35 to £4.55 for Under 18s
  • A 6.4% increase from £3.90 to £4.15 for Apprentices

The £930 increase in annual earnings compares the gross annual earnings of a person working 35 hours per week on the new NLW rate from April (£8.72) versus the 2018/19 NLW rate (£8.21). The £3,680 increase in annual earnings compares the gross annual earnings of a person working 35 hours per week on the new NLW rate from April (£8.72) versus the 2015/16 minimum wage rate (£6.70).

Alexey Miller: major package deal with Ukraine restores balance between parties’ interests

“Following five days of continuous bilateral negotiations, final decisions and arrangements have been reached in Vienna.

At the same time, a whole set of agreements and contracts has been signed, and one can fairly say that these arrangements represent a major package deal that has restored the balance between the interests of the parties.

These documents are coming into effect today, ensuring the transit of Russian gas across Ukraine after December 31, 2019.

Gazprom has done everything in its power, once again proving its reputation as a responsible supplier and a reliable partner.”

Package of documents signed for Russian gas transit across Ukraine to continue beyond 2019

Pursuant to the Protocol of December 20, 2019, Gazprom, Naftogaz of Ukraine, Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine and the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine signed a package of documents providing for Russian gas transit across Ukraine to continue beyond December 31, 2019.

Gazprom and Naftogaz of Ukraine concluded an irrevocable settlement agreement stipulating that all outstanding arbitration and judicial claims between the parties be discontinued and that in the future the parties renounce any and all possible claims under the supply and transit contracts dated January 19, 2009. Prior to the signing of the settlement agreement, Gazprom had paid USD 2.9 billion to Naftogaz within the timeframes specified in the Protocol in accordance with the ruling of the Stockholm Arbitration Court.

Gazprom and the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine signed an irrevocable amicable agreement to cancel all of Ukraine’s ongoing and potential future claims against the Company arising from the resolution of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine.

Gazprom and Naftogaz entered into an agreement to arrange for the transmission of gas across Ukrainian territory. Naftogaz is thus acting as the transit organizer and assuming the associated risks.

Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine signed a transport agreement with Naftogaz and an inter-operator agreement with Gazprom.

The transit organizer has the obligation to book gas transmission capacities in Ukraine for a five-year period to transmit a total of 225 billion cubic meters of gas, including 65 billion cubic meters in 2020 and 40 billion cubic meters per year in 2021–2024.

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