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Ukraine sees first loans for gas pipelines upgrade in late 2011

      RBC, 01.03.2011, Moscow 16:38:17.Ukraine expects to receive the first loans for the upgrade of its gas transportation system in late 2011, Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yury Boyko said today.

      A feasibility study for the upgrade is expected to be completed by mid-2011, the minister said, and Ukraine plans to invest $390m in it in 2011. The country's Prime Minister Nikolay Azarov earlier invited European companies to take part in tenders for the upgrade of the gas transportation system. Ukrainian gas pipeline operator Ukrtransgaz announced in December 2010 that the country had begun to modernize the system using its own funds.

      The European Union is expected to allocate nearly a $2.5bn loan to Ukraine for the upgrade in exchange for the reform of Naftogaz of Ukraine's organizational structure.

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