Ukraine’s energy giant Naftogaz will be out of default soon: CEO

Ukraine's Naftogaz is completing its debt restructuring

The CEO of Ukraine’s state-owned energy giant Naftogaz said the company is working to resolve its debt default problems quickly.

Oleksiy Chernyshov told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday that he was in the final stages of getting the company back on track.

“By the end of this month, we plan to seek the approval of our bondholders for the restructuring,” Chernyshov said. “It’s happening very intensely now. My plan is to complete this process within two weeks.”

Naftogaz was Ukraine’s first state-owned company to default since Russia invaded in February.

Last year, the company said the deadline for payments to Naftogaz Eurobond holders expired on July 26, with no payment having taken place.

“As this failure to meet its Eurobond obligations effectively deprives Naftogaz of access to international capital markets, the Cabinet of Ministers, as the responsible party, now assumes full responsibility for raising the necessary funds to import natural gas for the 2022-2023 heating season ,” the company said.

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Chernyshov said that as CEO of Naftogaz, his responsibility is to secure the production of natural gas in the country, “which means facilitating and motivating private producers to produce more, and that’s what we’re doing,” he noted.

“Naftogaz will buy from private producers who produce gas at the market base price. Yes, my task is to increase the production of natural gas in Ukraine.”

Correction: The text of this story has been updated with the correct name of the CEO of Naftogaz. The photo has also been replaced.