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Ukraine to ease dependency on Russian gas

Ukraine, China ink gas-to-coal USD 3.7 deal

Ukraine to ease dependency on Russian gas

Ukraine and China sign energy deal. Ukraine’s ministry of energy and coal industry inked a USD agreement Friday with China Development Bank to help the Eastern European country move its power plants from gas to coal.

The deal includes a USD 3.7bn loan from the Chinese bank. China will also provide technological expertise.
‘We are grateful to [our Chinese] colleagues, who identified the most efficient projects to be implemented using Chinese technologies,’ Ukraine’s energy minister Yuriy Boyko Boyko said in an official statement.

The deal follows a series of agreements which came into effect over the past two years. In 2010, the Ukrainian ministry and the Chinese bank signed a deal on coal cooperation, which included the investment of up to USD 1bn in the modernization of seven state-run coal mines in the country.

Last year, the bank agreed to provide an USD 85m loan to modernize a mine owned by Ukraine’s state-run coal producer Lisichanskugol, the ministry said.

Ukraine is seeking to ease its dependence on Russian gas, which it considers expensive. Kiev recently approved a decision to cut gas imports from the BRIC country by 33 per cent, to 27 million cubic meters in 2012.

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