Four companies have submitted applications for participation in the contest to choose the appraiser of the Ukrainian gas transportation system, Natalia Kaniuk, head of the competitive bidding committee, reported on Monday, according to UKRINFORM.

"As of 10 a.m. on Monday, four bids were filed to assess the value of assets of the trunk gas pipelines system, including underground storage facilities," Kaniuk said.

Among the participants there are PE Thomas & Simonova (Kyiv, Ukraine), Tuds & Pelts (New York, USA), Baker Tilly Ukraine (Kyiv, Ukraine) and Ernst & Young (Kyiv, Ukraine).

The GTS valuation tender will be conducted in two phases, Vadym Chuprun, deputy board chairman of Naftogaz, told a press conference.

"The first task is to evaluate the GTS assets with definition of valuation approaches... And the first stage will begin today... At the second stage, the participants will be required to submit their final proposals with the specified value of services," he said.

Chuprun noted that the bidding will involve only the companies that have a considerable experience of this work. "Evaluation of the GTS should be objective as ever," he said.

The deputy board chair of Naftogaz also stated that Ukraine is not going to sell its gas transportation system.

According to Chuprun, Ukraine must ensure viability of its gas transportation system for the distant future, preserve its status as a national heritage and make its economic.

He stressed that assessment of the Ukrainian gas transport system will help create a high-margin business project in the future. "One example is to create a consortium that would de-politicize the question of use of the Ukrainian gas transport system," Chuprun said. According to him, the consortium will save GTS from political insinuations.

Earlier, expert Lyudmila Simonova was quoted as saying that the market value of the Ukrainian gas transportation system is 61 billion dollars.

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