Ukrainian Energy Minister, Volodymyr Demchyshyn, announced last week that Ukraine has a shortfall in electrical power of more than 10%. As he noted, this is due to the separatist violence in the country’s industrial eastern region which caused disruption of the coal supply to power plants.
According to him, Ukraine’s government has allowed Ukrinterenergo, the state energy company, to import electricity from Russia in order to cover current power shortages.
Most of Ukraine’s coal mines are in territory controlled by pro-Russian rebels. Due to this, last month, President Petro Poroshenko has urged the government to consider importing power from Russia.
Having in mind that both Ukraine and Russia have joint electricity systems and there are no technical obstacles to imports of this kind, analysts argue that importing electricity is more expensive than importing coal.
Mr. Demchyshyn allowed two firms to buy 1,500 megawatts from Russia. That was later dismissed which raised doubts about the fate of the importation plan. Ukraine has an electricity generation capacity of 55,000 MW, but only around 26,000 MW is actually being used.
Ukraine is traditionally a net exporter of power and relies heavily on coal for 40% of its energy generation.