Archive for January 6th, 2011

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First political murder of the year in Odessa?

January 6, 2011

Well dear readers, over the last few years there have been relatively few murders that could be associated with politics in Odessa.  I can recall only 2 successful ones and 3 attempts in the past couple of years.

However, it seems that 2011 has started with yet another.

“Large businessman Oleksandr Korobchinskyi, the leader of the Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Ukraine, has been murdered in Odesa.

Ukrainian News learned this from a statement by the PR department of the Odesa regional office of the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

According to the statement, that police received a report at 19:00 that shots were heard near the Opera Theatre.

Patrol police found a man with several wounds in Chaikovskoho Lane.

Police established that the man was Oleksandr Korobchinskyi.

Police also found four cases of 9 mm.

The leader of the party was immediately brought to the Into-sana ambulance hospital where he died during surgery operation.

Police have established a criminal case under part 1 of article 115 of the Criminal Code.

A representative of the regional office of the Ministry of Interior Affairs told Ukrainian News that Oleksandr Korobchinskyi was shot when he was getting out of his car together with his wife. Oleksandr Korobchinskyi was 41.

He was a deputy of the Odesa city council from 2002 through 2010.

He was the president of the Intobud industrial and construction group since 2003. He was the leader of the Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Ukraine since 2009.

In the mayoral elections in Odesa he came third with 2.6% of the vote.

Oleksandr Korobchinskyi has four children.”

Is it the first political murder of the year in Ukraine or the ultimate settlement of a business feud as is so often the cause of a violent demise?

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Ukraine joins the Energy Community

January 6, 2011

Well dear readers, it what can only be described as a positive move, Ukraine has joined the Energy Community.

Just in case you don’t know what that is, it is an organisation comprising of the EU, and EU “wannabe’s” Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Kosovo.

Now this could be seen as “no big deal”, other than of course it is yet another step towards European integration but just as importantly, more so for the environmentally aware, it now forces Ukraine to abide by and react to EU Directive 2001/80/EC.

This directive relates primarily to emissions from large combustion plants, something that is not exactly rare in Ukraine and the time scale to meet this directive is 2018.

That, to be quite honest, is an extremely ambitious time-line considering the costs to achieve the sulphur reduction technology will be in the high $tens of millions if not closer to $ hundreds of millions  to achieve and the availability of funding for the organisations involved does not seem readily identifiable externally and internally is cost prohibitive because to the ridiculously high rate of interest changed on any loans.

That said,  on 28 December President Yanukovych has signed a law on the ratification of the protocol on Ukraine’s accession to the Energy Community so the challenge has been set.

As I have previously written here, I expect China to purchase at least several mines and a steel plant or two in the coming 5 years and China of course can cover the costs of the entire sectors desulphuring to the EU directive standard.  I suspect that what I foresaw as Chinese entry into the Ukrainian mining and steel sector in about 5 years time will now become a reality much, much faster than I previously thought.

Unfortunately for Ukraine, whilst it possess vast amounts of fossil fuels, the sulphur content of the coal and coking coal here has a high sulphur content making desulphuring technology the only realistic long term prospect despite the initial cash requirements for this technology to be bought and installed……after all politically there can be no justification to the public to import low sulphur coal from abroad when you have so much coal yourself and a production machine which employs so many people.

As a civil engineer that has written more ISO 14001 Environmental Policies (and audited them) than I care to count relating to construction, nuclear fuels, water treatment works, airports, hospitals and schools for PFI/PPP projects,  I can assure you that meeting the targets, monitoring and auditing them by 2018 is a very, very ambitious commitment indeed.

Still, the industry now has something to aim at rather than ignoring the issue as before.

Next on the environmental agenda, hopefully will be dealing with the historical toxic dumping of the USSR in the territory of Ukraine which are seeping into the water courses and below, the continuing direct dumping of toxins directly into rivers and stream without any form of treatment and the general disregard for the safe storage of Hazmat?

Actually planting trees as part of JIs in carbon credit sales as per the Kyoto system…..as it is the cheapest method to off-set carbon given Ukraine’s large and sparsely populated land mass (the other alternatives recongised for a JI are generally too expensive for Ukraine’s current economic situation)?

Yes, OK, one can dream.

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