According to calculations by Mott MacDonald experts, the reconstruction and modernization of the Ukrainian gas transport system will cost Ukraine at least USD 4.8 billion over seven years.

This is stipulated in a feasibility study for the modernization of the Southern and Northern gas transit corridors, which was prepared by Mott MacDonald at the request of Naftogaz of Ukraine, UKRINFORM reported, referring to the Mirror Weekly Ukraine newspaper.

The prioritization of modernization projects proposed in the feasibility study is based on relatively inexpensive repairs, which will help keep the Ukrainian gas transport system in good working condition up to its full modernization. To do so, Mott MacDonald proposed that at least USD 2.8 billion be invested in the next eight to ten years in mini projects in order to keep the system in working condition.

In its study, Mott MacDonald confirmed that the gas transport system, apart from design and construction inaccuracies, is mainly affected by the lack of proper funding for scheduled maintenance.

Experts said that the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorodgas pipeline (1,138-kilometer-long in Ukraine) was a priority for reconstruction and proposed a priority sequence of the reconstruction of such gas pipelines as Soyuz, Progress and Yelets-Kremenchuk-Ananyiv-Tiraspol-Izmail.

Mott MacDonald experts also proposed installing additional modern gas metering stations in Ukraine's east in order to ensure the precise metering of gas. At the same time, the existing gas metering stations in the country's west need to be modernized.

In addition, experts proposed using a modern SKADA system to integrate the systems of management and the metering of gas in order to reduce its losses in the system.

In general, Mott MacDonald described as high the level of competence of experts from Ukrtransgaz, a subsidiary of Naftogaz of Ukraine, the operator of the country's gas transport system. The technical condition of Ukrainian gas pipelines, according to the study, is not as dire as evidenced by Russia's Gazprom, the newspaper said.

As reported, Naftogaz of Ukraine is planning to invest USD 543 million in the modernization of the first stage of the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod gas pipeline. It is planned that USD 308 million of this amount will be investment, and the rest - Ukraine's own finances. Work on the modernization of the pipeline is to be conducted for three to five years, depending on concrete needs.

The Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Ministry is planning to raise USD 6.5 billion to implement investment projects on the modernization of the Ukrainian gas transport system until 2018. In particular, it is planned to raise USD 1.3 billion to modernize and reconstruct the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod gas pipeline.

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