News (#11 November 2017)

Biznews

Energy

Ministry of Energy approved Energoatom investments

The Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine has approved the NNEGC Energoatom investment program for 2018 in the amount of UAH 15.95 billion.

The main areas of the investment program are the following: improving safety at nuclear power plants (UAH 8.82 billion) within the framework of a comprehensive program for safety improvement of Ukrainian NPPs, as well as life extension of NPP power units (UAH 1.4 billion).

Furthermore, other components of Energoatoms investment program for 2018 include: new construction (UAH 3.32 billion); procurement of ready-to-operate equipment (UAH 0.95 billion); technical development, reconstruction, modernization of main and auxiliary equipment (UAH 0.78 billion); physical protection of nuclear facilities (UAH 0.33 billion) and other activities.

The comprehensive program for safety improvement of Ukrainian NPPs was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers in December 2011.

In the first half of 2017, out of 1,278 initially planned and additional program activities, 692 were executed, 586 are yet to be performed, of which about 60 activities are planned to be completed by the end of 2017.

EC proposes to ban Russian Federation from owning Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline

The European Commission will propose to extend rules of the EU Third Energy Package to pipelines leading to the EU from third countries, that is, to Nord Stream-2.

The EU Third Energy Package, in particular, provides that a gas supplier has no right to own the main pipelines on EU territory. It also requires gas pipeline owners to provide other companies access to transport facilities.

The EC has, since the beginning of this year, been trying to obtain a mandate from the EU member states to negotiate conditions of the Nord Stream-2 operation, but it has not yet succeeded.

As is known, Kiev vigorously opposes this construction by calling it politically motivated, and is proposing that the EU create a consortium involving European companies to manage the already existing and more efficient transportation route through Ukraine.

A number of EU countries also expressed their disagreement with the Nord Stream-2 project, particularly Poland and Lithuania.

On 2 August US President Donald Trump signed a law on new anti-Russian sanctions. The new sanctions stipulate fines for European companies, which, in particular, cooperate with Russian energy company Gazprom during construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline.

Banking & Finance

Raiffeisen Bank Aval provided EUR 10 million facility for building 3 biogas plants

Agricultural holding Gals Agro has received a loan facility in the amount of EUR 10 million from Raiffeisen Bank Aval for the construction of three biogas plants with a total capacity of 6 MW in Chernihiv and Kiev Regions.

The biogas plants will be operated by one of the holding companies, Gorodishche-Pustovarovskoe farming company. The plants produce about 23.3 million cubic meters of biogas annually from agricultural and sugar production waste: sugar-beet pulp, silage from energy crops, cattle and pig manure.

Moreover, the heat received during production will be used for heating livestock complexes and greenhouse facilities. And substrate, fermented in the biogas plant, will become a fertilizer for the cultivation of ecologically clean products on the acreage.

Experts claim that the project will pay for itself and that it is economically sound. Its total cost is almost EUR 17 million. The first plant in Chernihiv Region is planned to be launched this year, and the other two will be launched in 2018.

Transportation

Lufthansa acquires most of Air Berlin divisions

German airline Lufthansa intends to acquire most of the divisions of Air Berlin that went bankrupt. Air Berlin was the second largest German player on the air transportation market, but it suffered losses for several successive years, which amounted to EUR 780 million in 2016.

The airline declared insolvency after its main shareholder, Etihad, refused to provide financial support. Air Berlin aircrafts continue to perform flights due to a credit line of EUR 150 million provided by the German government, but the carrier stopped flights from 28 October.

Technologies

Naftogaz to buy software for anti-hacking protection

Naftogaz of Ukraine will hold open tenders for procurement of software for information security incident management. The requirements for the software are as follows:

i) distributed model support for correlating data from all software and hardware systems, which collect logs (log files), and from network information flows; ii) external data storage systems connectivity; (iii) real-time event analysis; iv) feasibility to create simulation of attacks on the network, network equipment, applications, databases, workstations, servers, network protection devices.

The delivery period is within 30 business days from the date of the agreements conclusion, but not later than 20 December 2017. The maximum tender value is UAH 4.5 million. The deadline for submitting bids for competitive tendering is 6 November 2017.

Crypto-currencies

Bitcoin divided once again

The Bitcoin Gold team earlier published a document describing the stages in crypto-currencys development. The network itself will be launched a bit later, supposedly in early November of this year, so that the new Bitcoin Gold currency can be mined from the beginning of November.

Bitcoin Gold was launched quite recently; it is headed by Jack Liao, the Director General of Hong Kong mining company .LIGHTNINGASIC It works under the Equihash algorithm (like the other popular crypto currency Zcash); it is optimized for mining with the help of graphics processors. The project developers describe Bitcoin Gold as a backup copy of Bitcoin.

A reminder that last time the Bitcoin crypto-currency was divided into two separate currencies Bitcoin (Original) and Bitcoin Cash.

Lawyers News

New Book by Wolters Kluwer: The Law and Practice of International Arbitration in the CIS Region

Arbitration experts from CIS countries have teamed up to produce the first comprehensive overview of commercial arbitration in their region. Today, this part of the world, which includes Ukraine, generates a significant and growing amount of work for the major Western and CIS regional, international arbitral institutions.

The Law and Practice of International Arbitration in the CIS Region, edited by Kaj Hober andYarik Kryvoi, provides a country by country analysis of regulation and practice of international arbitration in 10 jurisdictions: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

This book examines notable developments in the use of arbitration mechanisms contained in bilateral and multilateral investment treaties affecting the region.

In addition to a detailed discussion of the particular features of arbitral practice in each jurisdiction, contributions cover the following issues and topics:

arbitrability and arbitral procedure;

recognition and enforcement of commercial and investor-state arbitration awards;

implementation of UNCITRAL Model Law and other instruments affecting arbitral practice and procedure;

statistics from key arbitration institutions;

adherence to the ICSID, New York, and key regional conventions relevant to arbitration;

relevant regulations, cases, as well as applicable bilateral investment treaties;

law and practice related to investor-state arbitration; and

role of the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union.

As a comprehensive overview of international arbitration in this burgeoning region, this book has no peers. It provides not only a detailed analysis of the law but also insight from local practitioners into the culture of arbitration and how the law is applied. This book serves as a handbook for lawyers, arbitrators, and academics concerned with alternative dispute resolution, as well as for arbitration institutions, companies, states, and individuals, to understand the broad legal framework involved in arbitration in the CIS Region.

The Ukrainian chapter of this book initially appeared as one of the first and was used as a template for chapters on other countries. Ukraine generates hundreds of commercial arbitrations every year, and is one of the most popular respondents of our region in investment-treaty arbitration. All this naturally attracts attention and interest in the arbitration landscape of our country, and the Ukrainian chapter of Law and Practice of Arbitration in the CIS Region describes this landscape in detail. It covers not only current Ukrainian legislation, but some pending reforms, interesting court practice in arbitration-related matters as well as other practical and useful information, says Olena Perepelynska, partner of Integrites and author of the chapter on Ukraine. The book can be ordered atWolters Kluwer.

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