Akhmetov's company seeks $136 million preferential state loan to restore power plants
CEO of DTEK Energo Ildar Saleev (photo - DTEK)

DTEK Energo, part of steel magnate Rinat Akhmetov's conglomerate, anticipates obtaining approximately UAH 5 billion ($136.2 million) from Ukraine's preferential lending program "5-7-9%" to restore combined heat and power plants and thermal power stations hit by Russian attacks, CEO Ildar Saleev told news agency Interfax-Ukraine.

According to him, overall, the company needs more than UAH 7 billion ($190.6 million) to restore war-battered facilities. Almost UAH 3.5 billion ($95.3 million) were to be invested in planned repairs during the year, but part of these funds have already been used for restoration.

"We don't have sufficient funds to complete the necessary repairs and restoration work...Therefore, like the air we breathe, we urgently need financial means. Access to markets to improve our liquidity and attract the funds we require to prepare for the upcoming heating season, as well as subsidized loans under the government's '5-7-9%' lending program. We hope to receive around UAH 5 billion ($136.2 million) through this program," Saleev said.

The head of DTEK Energo hopes that, together with relevant departments and banks, it will be possible to complete all procedures and start attracting the first funds for the restoration of the damaged generation as early as July.

"There is a lending program, but at the same time there are a lot of small bureaucratic things that we have to go through. For example, new confirmations of the destruction caused by the strikes are constantly needed, because this is a program for recovery after the attacks," Saleev explained.

In addition, there are questions about collateral, which, in particular, can be the plant itself. But at some stations there is a lot of destruction or they are located close to the war zone, and the banks do not want to lend.

"However, we must attract resources so that such equipment can work and support the power system during the heating season," believes the CEO of DTEK Energo.

Also, difficulties in obtaining loans arise due to the fact that the company has already restored part of these blocks with its own funds. And as a result, they lack money for planned repairs.

"We seek to refinance these funds so that we can invest in the planned and necessary repairs. But this can only happen through additional changes to the lending program," Saleev added.

According to him, the repair campaign this year costs 1.5 times more due to the need for deeper repairs of the TPP, as well as inflation, which added 25-30% to the estimate.

On July 6, the Deputy Chairman of the Board of Oschadbank Yuriy Katsion announced at the Community Energy Security Forum that the bank already has about five applications from large power generation companies for loans for reconstruction under the government program "5-7-9%". To launch the program, changes to the budget are needed that would allow the Entrepreneurship Development Fund, through which interest rates for businesses are compensated, to carry out such actions for large generation facilities.

Oleksandr Kharchenko, director of the Energy Research Center, believes that only 20% of energy facilities will be restored by the next heating season, but even this will be enough.

Recently, DTEK Energo de-mothballed some TPP units to increase the available generation capacity.