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Ukraine may face heating troubles

      RBC, 17.08.2006, Kiev 11:56:17.Ukraine is facing a gas shortage of up to 8bn cubic meters, Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Klyuyev said at today's government meeting handling preparations to the heating season. He elaborated that there were difficulties in gas deliveries, payments for the gas, and the financial standing of Neftegaz Ukrainy itself and the fuel and energy industry as a whole was precarious.

      Klyuyev added that there were some concerns about the coal reserves at thermal power plants, where only 2.1m tonnes have been accumulated, with the planned figure for the start of the heating season being 3.7m tonnes. Worse still, coal is being taken from storages rather than added. The deputy PM wants 1.5m tonnes of coal to be supplied to thermal power plants by November 15.

      Klyuyev also reported an almost threefold increase in breakdowns at energy plants, which testifies to both equipment deterioration and poor upgrading.

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