The Ukrainian parliament has voted to allow the privatisation of small hydroelectric power plants in the country.

According to Baltic Business News it is hoped that the decision will lead to investment in the plants’ renovation and reconstruction, and their increased utilisation, resulting in lower electricity imports.

Ukraine’s State Committee for Water Resources says that there are 144 small hydroelectric power plants in the country, of which eight are being leased and the remainder are not operating. The Committee plans to transfer the assets of small hydro plants under its control to the Ukrhydroenerho state-owned company.

Ukraine’s rivers are estimated to have an annual hydroelectricity generating capacity of 18BkWh, including 3BkWh on small rivers.