WASHINGTON-Through a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United States Energy Association (USEA) has selected AES CILCO to participate in an information exchange program as a utility partner for Kyivoblenergo, the electric distribution company for the Kyiv Oblast of Ukraine.

CILCO, a subsidiary of AES, generates, transmits and distributes electricity to approximately 250,000 customers in 150 communities within Central and East Central Illinois. In 1999 AES acquired CILCORP, CILCO’s parent company. AES is one of the world’s largest global power companies with competitive generation, distribution and retail supply businesses in over 19 countries.

During an exchange visit last week to Kyivoblenergo headquarters in Kyiv, Ukraine, the two electric utilities and USEA signed a trilateral partnership agreement calling for senior management to travel between Peoria, Illinois and Kyiv, Ukraine, to assist Kyivoblenego as it moves toward privatization.

Under a recent presidential decree, 75 percent of Kyivoblenergo is now scheduled for privatization by strategic investors. CS First Boston was recently selected by the Government of Ukraine through a competitive bidding process to serve as the investment banker for the privatization of Kyivoblenergo and six other Ukrainian distribution companies later this year.

Funding for the partnership exchange program is provided by USAID and managed by the USEA’s Energy Industry Partnership Program. Under the program, U.S. utilities and regulatory commissions are matched with their counterparts in the Former Soviet Union to assist in that region’s transition to a market economy.

During the signing ceremony, Steven Pifer, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership highlighting the successes of the Energy Industry Partnership Program in Ukraine. Joseph Glad, AES CILCO Group Leader, expressed his hope for a two way exchange of information to facilitate “an ongoing dialogue that will be beneficial to both companies as they go through difficult changes.” Kyivoblenergo Chairman Vladimir Kotliarenko agreed. “We hope that this partnership will help both of our companies in learning how to manage our affairs in a more efficient and profitable manner.”

During the visit at Kyivoblenergo, a work plan of exchange visits, seminars and internships was developed for the coming year. Among the first issues to be addressed will be corporate finance, financial forecasting, budgeting, accounting and others.

The partnership is the eighth energy partnership in Ukraine for which USAID/USEA provides funding. U.S. utilities and regulatory commissions participating in the partnership program with other Ukrainian utilities and regulatory commissions include PP&L, Inc., Otter Tail Power, Kentucky Utilities, the Ohio Public Utilities Commission, and FirstEnergy Corp.