The Canadian government is being lobbied by a Toronto company to underwrite a power plant project in the Ukraine with export loans.

The company, Northland Power, has a contract with the Ukraine government to manage and expand an existing coal-fired power plant near Kiev. The aim is to convert the plant into a natural-gas fired facility.

Northland Power has claimed that it has been looking at the project for around six years, but that the economic conditions in the Ukraine were not sufficiently encouraging to proceed until recently. It wants the Canadian Export Development Corporation to provide grants, which have been estimated by observers to be around $30 million.