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How Ukraine's energy system survived frosty week

Due to frost, the electricity consumption in Ukraine has become record high. Photo: quora.com

Due to frost, the electricity consumption in Ukraine has become record high. Photo: quora.com

This week, on December 20—26, the average daily temperature in Ukraine dropped to –9 ° С. Electricity consumption increased to a maximum of 24.6 GW. HPPs and PSPPs in the last frosty days at peak day hours carried a record load—almost 3 GW. This was reported by the former head of the Ministry of Energy Olha Buslavets.

The water level in the Kyiv Reservoir dropped by 6 cm, in the Kremenchuk Reservoir—increased by 5 cm, in the Kakhovka Reservoirdropped by 8 cm. In general, the water levels are within the permissible limits set out by the Interdepartmental Commission for the Coordination of the Operating Modes of the Reservoirs.

The fourth hydroelectric unit of the Dniester PSPP was put into operation. This increased the plant's installed capacity to 1,296 MW in generator mode and expanded its capacity to respond to the needs of the country's United Energy System (UES).

At the Tashlyk PSPP, testing of a new 3rd power unit has begun. It will add up to 160 MW in turbine mode to balance the UES.

The air temperature decrease has resulted in extracting up to 110 million cubic meters of gas from the UGS facilities per day (the current level of the UGS facilities excluding cushion gas is 9.5 billion cubic meters). In the Q1 of 2022, gas imports can be resumed with a high price level.

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Coal reserves at the TPP storages since the beginning of December have increased by 58,000 tons (15%) and by the morning of December 24 amounted to 446,000 tons.

In the context of the companies, since the beginning of December, the coal reserves:

  • increased to 304,000 tons (by 27%) at the DTEK’s TPPs;
  • increased to 37,000 tons (42%) at Donbasenergo’s Slovianska TPP;
  • decreased to 105,000 tons (minus 14%) at Centerenergo TPP’s.

In the coming days, DTEK expects two more vessels with 150,000 tons of coal from Colombia and the United States.

Buslavets notes that currently there is no reserve of TPP units in the power system. Therefore, in case of any emergency shutdown at a nuclear power plant, there will be a threat to de-energize consumers.

During the first 23 days of December, Belarus supplied 290 million kWh of electricity to Ukraine . This is the highest figure since the start of imports from Belarus in July 2019. In recent days, imports have been 12-18 million kWh per day.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for the Luhansk TPP and the residents of the city of Shchastia. NEURC introduced the possibility of partial shift of coal units to gas. However, the maximum additional payment of 4,800 UAH/MWh is unlikely to make the operation of the TPPs on gas profitable, given its market value of more than 56,000 UAH per 1,000 cubic meters, Buslavets notes.

Ukraine is diversifying the guaranteed capacities for importing gas from Europe: from January 1, it can import up to 8 million cubic meters per day, in addition to the already available 27 million cubic meters of daily capacity from Slovakia. Thus, in the case of a complete stoppage of transit from the RF, Ukraine can import 35 million cubic meters per day or 12.8 billion cubic meters per year from the EU, which is enough to ensure the required volume of imports.

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