Naftogaz said on January 19 that unbundling of the gas transmission system operator (TSO) in Ukraine is a strategic priority that the company plans to complete by January 1, 2020, completing a key prerequisite of the European Union in order to keep receiving EU funds.

“Unbundling is a project of high importance for us, and both Naftogaz and MGU are committed to doing it right,” Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev said, referring to the Ukrainian main pipelines (Magistralni Gazoprovody Ukrainy or MGU). “I believe that the process should complete with an engagement of a qualified acceptable international partner. Such a partnership should enable Ukraine to preserve the flow of Russian gas and create a transparent competitive market,” Kobolyev added.

The Supervisory boards of Naftogaz and MGU held a meeting on September 19 with key stakeholders to present the Roadmap of the unbundling of the TSO in Ukraine, Naftogaz said in a press release.

“Naftogaz has set the unbundling as one of its strategic priorities. A successful TSO unbundling is both a formal goal and a personal commitment of Naftogaz top management, in particular, Kobolyev,” Naftogaz Supervisory Board Chairperson Clare Spottiswoode said.

Fabrice Noihlan, Member of the Supervisory Board of MGU, said that with a memorandum of understanding “we have found a way to work together to ensure Ukraine has a fully-fledged independent TSO. We have set clear targets, and we know who is in charge of each step of the plan. It is a shared priority for both companies to ensure the system works efficiently and that the transition proceeds smoothly. Of course, in this process, we rely on support from our key external stakeholders.”

Naftogaz and MGU are fully aligned with achieving the task, the press release read. According to Naftogaz, that the two boards have signed the Memorandum of understanding which sets a new framework for an effective cooperation. The two companies cooperate on a daily basis to streamline the preparations and ensure a smooth transition.

Naftogaz said the national oil and gas company of Ukraine has engaged experienced consultants to cover all legal, technical and operational aspects of the unbundling process. The company management is making sure that these forces work in an organised and coordinated manner to have all practical steps taken in time to create a fully functional unbundled TSO in Ukraine by January 1, 2020, Naftogaz said.