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Estonia Hires Poeyry of Finland to Analyze Gas Unbundling

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May 18 (Bloomberg) -- Estonia’s power grid operator commissioned a unit of Poeyry Oyj, a Finnish engineering company, to analyze options to separate AS Eesti Gaas’s natural gas sales and transmission divisions.

The analysis by Poeyry Management Consulting UK Ltd, which will also look into other possibilities to liberalize Estonia’s natural gas market, is due by the end of October, the state-owned Elering AS said in an e-mailed statement today. The government last November ordered Elering to develop plans for natural gas, the company said.

The Baltic country plans to separate AS Eesti Gaas’s natural-gas sales and transmission divisions during the four-year government term that started last month, according to a coalition agreement signed by Prime Minister Andrus Ansip’s Reform Party and junior partner Isamaa ja Res Publica Liit. Estonia seeks to reduce its dependence on Russia’s OAO Gazprom, the utility’s biggest owner and its sole gas supplier, according to Igor Grazin, a lawmaker with Reform.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are working to shift their energy dependence to the European Union, which they joined in 2004. Lithuania last May announced a similar plan at Lietuvos Dujos AB, spurring criticism from Gazprom and Germany’s E.ON AG, which also has a stake in Eesti Gaas.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ott Ummelas in Tallinn at oummelas@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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