Ukrainian gas transmission system (GTS) operator JSC Ukrtransgaz (UTG) has addressed the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and European Investment Bank (EIB) with a request to revise current modernization loan agreements for Ukraine’s section of the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod gas pipeline. UTG said in its press release that one of the reasons for which it is unable to implement the loan program was the operator’s failure to meet the financial stability requirements outlined in the loan agreements with the EBRD and EIB (due to tariffs for its services which have been set too low since the end of last year).
The company added that reliability and effectiveness of the Ukrainian section of the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod gas pipeline could be improved with a significantly smaller amount of assets (than it is envisaged in the loan agreements).
“For this reason the company is asking the EBRD to reduce the amount of its loan as long as a EUR 125 million investment (instead of EUR 300 million) is sufficient for the achievement of its primary goals,” reads the statement.
UTG also asked the financial institutions to hold consultations with the Ukrainian government in order to determine the extent of liability on the loan agreements for UTG and a new GTS operator as well as the mechanism for use of funds and loan servicing after the completion of the unbundling process in Ukraine.
As reported, UTG signed a EUR 300 million loan agreement with the EBRD and EIB (EUR 150 million from each) for the modernization of Ukraine’s section of the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod gas pipeline. Ukrtransgaz will also invest EUR 166 million of its own funds in the project.
Ukrtransgaz, a 100% subsidiary of Naftogaz Ukrainy, operates Ukraine’s system of trunk gas pipelines and 12 underground gas storage facilities.