A firm schedule for the privatisation of six of the Ukraine’s 27 distribution or oblenergo companies has been announced by the Ukraine government’s State Property Fund. The process should be completed by 29 February 2001, when the final bids are due to be submitted. In all there are seven companies involved in the first stage of privatisation, Kyiv, Kirovohrad, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Rivne, Sevastopolmiskenergo and Zhytomyroblenergo. Each will have 51 to 75 per cent of their stock sold under the programme. All have significant urban catchments, but also debts totalling $178 million. The sale is expected to raise a minimum of around $170 million for the government. But each buyer must also fully guarantee all its energy payments and make them in cash.