The owners of the seized heat and power plants in Novoyarivsk and Novyi Rozdol (Lviv oblast) obstruct the beginning of the heating season. They try to render the process of effective management of seized assets impossible.

After the Asset Recovery and Management Agency (ARMA) transferred the heat and power plants in Lviv oblast to the lawfully selected Manager, the owners of these facilities continued to sabotage the preparation for the heating season.

The Manager encountered the issue of the personnel now showing up to work. Earlier, the employees were falsely informed about this by the management of the heat and power plants.

The owners of the seized assets pressure ARMA staff members, NABU and SAPO. They filed a report with the National Police with the evidently false claim of an illegal takeover. ARMA staff members had criminal proceedings started against them based on the applications of representatives of the heat and power plants owners. 

Representatives of the owners (the Dubnevych brothers) tried to block any activity of the ARMA with their property through the court. However, Kyiv Administrative Court closed the proceeding without granting their demands. 

Local media are being used to spread panic among the population that the heat and power plants are not ready for the heating season, particularly because of the government and the ARMA. In reality, however, the Manager selected through an open competition is doing everything possible to start heat generation as soon as possible.

The manager selected through an open competition is doing everything possible to start heat generation as soon as possible.

The Manager has obtained all the necessary permits, the local authorities have approved the rates, Naftogaz has entered into agreement with the Manager, now recognized as a full participant of the energy market. The technical documentation, which has been destroyed, is now being restored. The manager has accepted all heat and power plant debts (UAH 300 mln). The issue of recovery of the gas turbine, illegally dismounted and removed by the owners, has been resolved. The database of consumers, intentionally destroyed, is being restored as well. The NABU, the SAPO, the ARMA and the Manager have taken control over all the plant facilities, with the territory now guarded. Most importantly, they are working on returning the personnel and preparing the equipment to start heat generation as soon as possible.

Kateryna Ryzhenko, legal advisor with TI Ukraine, has pointed out: “Transfer of such major facilities under ARMA’s management has taken place for the first time, which explains the numerous difficulties encountered by Agency employees. Heat and power plants are strategically important facilities, since they provide heating for thousands of people, and it is not only the ARMA and the selected manager, but also the employees that must be interested in their effective work.”

ARMA urges people who live in Novoyarivsk and Novyi Rozdol to be patient with the situation caused by local heat and power plant owners. As a reminder, these facilities were seized as part of a NABU-initiated criminal proceeding concerning a large-scale corrupt scheme in the energy sector, namely theft of UAH 1.4 billion worth of gas from Naftogaz Ukraine.

This publication has been prepared with the financial support of the European Union. Its content is the sole responsibility of Transparency International Ukraine and does not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

Transparency International Ukraine works with the National Agency within the project Enhancing the Role of Civil Society in Public Finance Oversight, financed by the European Union. The project aims at empowering civil society and journalists with effective anti-corruption, asset recovery and anti-money laundering tools to perform the public finance oversight, support the launch of Asset Recovery and Management Agency (ARMA) and to update the list of Politically Exposed Persons. Find out more at https://goo.gl/Jgr9ic

Transfer of such major facilities under ARMA’s management has taken place for the first time, which explains the numerous difficulties encountered by Agency employees. Heat and power plants are strategically important facilities, since they provide heating for thousands of people, and it is not only the ARMA and the selected manager, but also the employees that must be interested in their effective work.

Kateryna Ryzhenko, legal advisor with TI Ukraine