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Ukraine: World Bank Approves Loan For Major Electric Project

Washington, 11 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- The World Bank has approved a $317 million loan to help Ukraine finance a major project to bring its main power-generating facilities up to standards, improve their reliability and position the industry for commercial operations.

The project involves building up fuel stocks at 14 thermal power plants to levels consistent with standard industry practice, increasing stocks of spare parts and carrying out maintenance that has been deferred for years.

The fuel supplies are expected to be delivered by the end of this year, with 50 percent of the spare parts and equipment installed within the first year of the three-year project.

In addition, the program will finance the installation of meters and communication equipment at key wholesale delivery points and provide training and technical help to develop an electric industry privatization program.

The World Bank loan will pay about 84 percent of the costs of the project. Kyiv has applied for a loan of $5.5 million from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to pay for most of the rest.

The Ukrainian government will lend the money to the state-owned National Dispatch Center (NDC), which administers the wholesale electric market, and the four thermal power generation companies -- Dniproenergo, Donbassenergo, Tsentrenergo and Zakhidenergo -- responsible for implementing the program.