The parliament has adopted a government-proposed law on reform of the system for managing Ukraine's gas transportation system. The document was supported by 228 deputies, the Interfax Ukraine news agency reports.
According to the document, the gas transportation system and the country’s underground gas storage facilities will remain the properties of the state, but specially created companies can now manage them. The Ukrainian state will receive controlling stakes in these management companies while European and American companies may acquire the remaining stakes.
Two significant amendments were made to the document during its preparation. Firstly, companies from the European Union and the United States bidding to participate in management of the gas transportation system and the underground gas storage facilities must disclose full details of their beneficiaries. Secondly, changes to the beneficiaries of companies bidding to participate in management of the gas transportation system and the underground gas storage facilities must be agreed with the Ukrainian side.
As reported, the Cabinet of Ministers plans to establish two companies to operate the country’s gas transportation system and its underground gas storage facilities, with the participation of partners from the European Union and the United States. The aim of the document is to lift the restrictions on leasing or granting concession on operation of major gas pipelines and underground gas storage facilities to a company (companies) for a fee but without the right of alienation.
According to the document, the functions of operator of the gas transportation system can be assigned to an enterprise founded and owned exclusively by the state, a state enterprise (ownership of at least a 51% stake), or a legal entity (legal entities) owned and controlled by residents of member countries of the European Union, the United States, or the European Energy Community, provided that it is also an operator of a gas transportation system or a member of the European network of operators of gas transportation systems that is certified under the legislation on the common rules for the domestic market of natural gas. The same conditions should apply to the operator of the underground gas storage facilities.