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Bidder for Ukraine chemical plant cries foul

© RIA Novosti . Igor Kostin / Go to the photo bankOdessa Port plant
Odessa Port plant - Sputnik International
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A Ukrainian company that won a tender for the Odessa chemical plant but whose bid was then invalidated is determined to go to court, a company spokesman said on Tuesday.

KIEV, September 29 (RIA Novosti) - A Ukrainian company that won a tender for the Odessa chemical plant but whose bid was then invalidated is determined to go to court, a company spokesman said on Tuesday.

Nortima won the tender with a bid of 5 billion hryvnias ($590 million), but the country's privatization agency announced minutes after the sell-off that the tender commission had annulled the results because the price was too low.

Timur Novikov said the company would challenge the cancellation in court and demand that the tender results be honored, as well as seek compensation for the losses it had sustained.

The minimum bidding price for the plant, a monopoly on the Ukrainian ammonia market, was 4 billion hryvnias ($500 million).

The other two bidders were Russia's Azot-Servis and Ukraine's Frunze-Flora.

The sell-off was intended to help Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's government replenish state coffers as Ukraine experiences a severe economic crisis, while President Viktor Yushchenko maintained the country was not ready to sell the plant and issued an order banning its sale.

Yushchenko and Tymoshenko are set to run off against each other in Ukraine's presidential elections in the New Year.

The government went ahead with a tender for the plant despite Yushchenko's ban.

 

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