Ukraine to privatize major thermal power plants

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KIEV. August 7. KAZINFORM Ukraine plans to privatize the country's four major heat and power plants to reduce Ukraine's energy dependence on expensive Russian natural gas and push the plants to modern coal-burning technologies, according to a government order published on Tuesday, RIA Novosti said.

The order instructed national energy company Naftogaz to transfer wholly state-owned share packages in the Dneprodzerzhinsk, Kherson and Odessa Heat and Power Plants and the Kharkov Heat and Power Plant No. 5 to the State Property Fund for further privatization.

"The national joint stock company Naftogaz Ukrainy must transfer to the State Property Fund within a month the share packages of public joint stock enterprises for further privatization," the government order said.

In April, the Ukrainian parliament adopted a law lifting a ban on the privatization of the country's 13 largest heat and power plants ahead of their subsequent transfer for lease or operation under a concession agreement.

The bill was initiated by the Energy and Fuel Ministry, which believes the transfer of heat and power plants under concession agreements will help attract investment to finance their modernization and their conversion to modern coal-burning technologies, including coal-water mixture, to cut dependence on Russian natural gas.

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