UKRAINE: Newly-elected President Viktor Yanukovich has brought forward proposals for partial privatisation of state railway Ukrzaliznytsya as part of an economic package for the next three years which was submitted to parliament in November.

UZ Deputy General Director Nikolai Sergienko said the railway would be restructured as a joint stock company seven years sooner than envisaged by the previous administration. The infrastructure and motive power will remain under state control, which is similar to the model adopted in Russia. The 22300 km network is currently divided into six regional administrations: Donetsk, L’viv, Odesa, Southern, South-Western and Dnieper. These will be merged into a single legal entity with a total of 373200 employees.

According to Minister of Energy Yuri Boyko, UZ’s rolling stock will be handed over to private companies, who will be responsible for investing in renewals. Many of UZ’s 1855 electric and 928 diesel locomotives are obsolete or life-expired, and in September Transport Minister Constantin Yefimenko outlined plans to buy 118 new locomotives by 2014. He expected to acquire 16 in 2010, followed by up to 40 per year. These, he suggested, would include EP20 electric locomotives developed by Transmash Holding and Alstom.