Rada okays bill to reform GTS management
Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, has adopted a bill reforming the management of the Ukraine's gas transport system.
The document was supported by 228 MPs.
According to the document, the gas transport system (GTS) and underground storage facilities are left in ownership of the state, although they can be put under the management of specially created companies. The Ukrainian state will receive a controlling stake in the said companies, and the rest of the shares can be bought by European and U.S. companies.
During the preparation of the document, the lawmakers and the government agreed to make two significant amendments. First, companies that are candidates to manage the GTS and underground storage facilities from the European Union and the United States are to disclose the full information on their beneficiaries. Secondly, if beneficiaries are changed, the issue is to be agreed with Ukraine.
As reported, Ukraine plans to create two companies to service underground storage facilities and the gas transport system, with the participation of U.S. and European partners. The pipelines and storage facilities will remain in state ownership.
It is planned to lift restrictions on the leasing of trunk pipelines and underground storage facilities to a company/companies on a chargeable basis, without the right to fulfill the functions of the operator of the gas transport system and/or underground storage facilities.
The said leasing could be conducted only to execute liabilities taken by Ukraine in line with the law on the ratification of a protocol on Ukraine's joining the agreement on the foundation of the Energy Community on the basis of the agreement and on the conditions approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, taking into account the principles of observing the economic security of the state.
The enterprise, the founder and owner of which could be only the state, state enterprise (at least 51% of corporate rights in state ownership) or a legal entity (legal entities), which belong to residents of the countries of the European Union, the United States or the European Energy Community and which is the operator of the gas transport system or a member of the European network of the gas transportation system operators certified in line with the requirements of Article 10 of 2009/73/EU Directive regarding general rules for the domestic natural gas market, could fulfill functions of the operator of the Ukrainian GTS.
The same conditions apply to the operator of the country's underground storage facilities.