Ukraine Plans to Prospect German Companies for Gas-Grid Overhaul

Ukraine plans to use German companies such as Siemens AG, Deutsche Bank AG and Ferrostaal GmbH to renovate its gas transportation network, Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara said in Berlin today.

Ukraine’s government, seeking closer ties with the European Union and improved security for gas delivery, intends to expand a project forged with the three companies last year to modernize a section of the Soyuz gas pipeline, Kozhara said in a speech to the German Council of Foreign Relations.

Ukraine is especially interested in developing underground storage facilities, Kozhara said, referring to the Soyuz project. “Our ambition is to extend this project to the whole Ukrainian gas transportation system.”

Pricing disputes with OAO Gazprom, Russia’s natural-gas export monopoly, have cut Ukrainian gas supplies to the EU at least twice. Gazprom said last month that Europe deliveries in the coming winter may be threatened by insufficient volumes in Ukrainian storage.

Ukraine’s government-owned Naftogaz company forged a project with German engineering company Ferrostaal GmbH and finance from Deutsche Bank AG to modernize a gas compressor station of the Soyuz pipeline last year, according to the Web sites of Naftogaz and UKrinform, the national news agency.