Ukraine not importing electricity, Ukrenergo head says

25 October 2022, 12:00 AM
Volodymyr Kudrytskyi told about the problem of electricity imports from Europe (Photo:Ukrenergo)

Volodymyr Kudrytskyi told about the problem of electricity imports from Europe (Photo:Ukrenergo)

Ukraine is not currently importing electricity, but will be able to do so if necessary, chairman of Ukraine’s power grid operator Ukrenergo, Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, said in an interview with RBC Ukraine on Oct. 24.

According to Kudrytskyi, the issue is with European energy prices still being much higher than domestic ones, and with the time it takes time to set up imports.

During recent attacks by Russia on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, ENTSO-E (Europe’s integrated power grid operator) decided to further increase commercial exchanges between Ukraine and Europe: up to 400 MW for export and up to 500 MW for import. Therefore, Ukraine has the option to receive emergency electricity supply from the EU, Kudrytskyi said.

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“The problem with imports is that European electricity prices are still much higher than domestic ones, and it takes some time to organize imports,” said Kudrytskyi.

“This is not done by Ukrenergo, but by the participants of the Ukrainian market — traders, suppliers. Large consumers can also import for themselves, as long as they have the necessary license. Under certain conditions, we could see imports this heating season.”

The war has disrupted some of Ukraine’s usual foreigh power supply lines – notably from Belarus.

“We remember that we imported electricity from Belarus in the past years; now, of course, this will not happen, our power grid is connected with Europe, and, accordingly, imports are possible from Europe,” Kudrytskyi explained.

He noted that Ukraine is currently experiencing “a shortage of capacity” in its energy system, which “directly affects Ukrainian consumers, unfortunately, including industrial ones.”

Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko later confirmed Kudrytskyi’s assessment, in an interview with the YouTube channel We – Ukraine.

“We have the option to import electricity now; we have not used this tool yet, but we will be monitoring the situation,” Galushchenko said.

The minister also noted that since Oct. 11, Ukraine has suspended electricity exports to stabilize its power grid. The halt of exports was a reluctant step, since “it was financially beneficial for us, because there was a large price spread.”

“The issue was also political: by consuming Ukrainian electricity, EU countries were saving on Russian gas and coal,” Galushchenko noted.

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