Engie can manage without Russian gas -chairman

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FILE PHOTO:The Engie power plant is pictured in Montoir-de-Bretagne near Saint-Nazaire, France, March 4, 2022. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

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PARIS, April 20 (Reuters) - French gas utility Engie (ENGIE.PA) could manage without Russian gas, and Europe as a whole should also be able to cut its dependence on Russian gas by half, Engie Chairman Jean-Pierre Clamadieu said in an interview with French daily Le Figaro.

"Engie can do without Russian gas, which accounts for 20% of its supply. Europe as a whole is no doubt able to replace half of its Russian gas. The other half could be taken care of by reduction of consumption and production stoppages by industry," he said.

He also said there was no agreement with Russian gas supplier Gazprom about paying supplies in roubles, as requested by Russian authorities.

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"Gazprom has said it wants to modify payment arrangements for our supplies. The question will come up at the next payment, which is in May. We are not obliged to pay in roubles. We have no reason to take the exchange rate risk," he said.

Asked whether Engie could be interested in acquiring EDF's (EDF.PA) renewable energy assets, he said EDF's state shareholder wants the utility to focus on nuclear.

"We will see whether this leads to opportunities for us ... we have the means to act if the right opportunities arise," he said.

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Reporting by GV De Clercq; Editing by Stephen Coates

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