Ukraine’s Energoatom sees its accounts unblocked

5 July 2016

The head of Ukraine's Energy Ministry, Igor Nasalik, in late June succeeded in unblocking the accounts of nuclear utility Energoatom, which had been frozen by the courts since March when the Ukrelektrovatt company initiated legal action to recover debts of UAH127m ($5m). As a result of the legal action, the state enforcement service of Ukraine froze the accounts and property of Energoatom worth UAH200m, effectively blocking its financial and economic activity.

The blockage of its accounts meant that Energoatom had been unable to pay for fresh nuclear fuel from Russia or the fee to send used fuel back to Russia for processing. Currently, Russia is the main supplier of nuclear fuel for Ukrainian NPPs. In 2015, Ukraine bought fuel for its NPPs worth $644m, $611m of which was from Russia. Energoatom was also unable to service the loans, in particular from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and its overall debt total was increasing and by mid-June totalled almost UAH14bn.

Earlier in June, the the deputy head of the parliamentary committee of the fuel and energy complex, Alexander Dombrowski, had tried to solve the problem by asking parliament to approve a bill, which would have extended a moratorium on debt collection from Energoatom, enabling the company to resume normal activities. However, the underlying problem of debt remains with discussions underway about the possible "corporatisation" of the state-owned company.

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