Energoatom awaits approval for energy bridge tender

18 April 2018

Ukrainian nuclear power plant operator Energoatom expects the country's Cabinet of Ministers to approve soon tender documents required to attract a private partner to the 'energy bridge' project. The project aims to make the export of electricity to the European Union possible by disconnecting unit 2 of the Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant from the Ukrainian national grid, and to attract funding required to complete units 3 and 4 at the plant.

Stanislavsky and Kulczyk meet Energoatom - 460 (Energoatom)
Stanislavsky and Kulczyk at the meeting with Energoatom (Image: Energoatom)

Ukraine expects to start supplying electricity to the EU network via the so-called energy bridge as early as next year, and to complete the project by 2025. The energy bridge will link Khmelnitsky 2 to Burshtyn Energy Island and connect with powerlines to Rzeszów in Poland and Albertirsa in Hungary. Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers adopted a decree on the Ukraine-EU energy bridge in June 2015. This followed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on the project in March that year between Energoatom, Ukrenergo and Polenergia.

Energoatom President Yury Nedashkovsky recently discussed the project with Dominika Kulczyk, co-owner of Kulczyk Investments. Polish energy company Polenergia International is part of Kulczyk Investments holding.

According to an Energoatom statement on 13 April, Kulczyk said the project is of great importance in both the economic and political contexts.

"Poland needs Ukrainian electricity and in turn Ukraine needs Poland for further energy integration with the EU," he said.

Nedashkovsky noted that four years had passed since the idea of an energy bridge between Ukraine and the EU had been formed.

"During this time, we have managed to do a lot: the project received the support of the Ukrainian government and a consortium of leading companies was created to implement it. Still, difficult questions remain, but I'm sure that we will manage to solve them jointly," he said.

"We expect in the near future the approval by the Cabinet of Ministers of the tender documentation, which is needed to hold a tender to determine a private partner for the Ukraine-EU Energy Bridge project. One of the points of the documentation is the procedure for allowing Energoatom to access the interstate [electricity market] for 20 years, which will ensure unhindered exports of electricity," he added.

Nedashkovsky also said the project had been discussed at a recent meeting of Ukrainian Energy Minister Igor Nasalik with members of the Fuel and Energy Committee of the country's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, and representatives of the national commission on state regulation of the energy and utilities sectors.

Grzegorz Stanislavsky, a member of the board of Polenergia, said a report from the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E) is expected to be published in June, with recommendations on ensuring the energy security of the Baltic States.

"The Baltic countries have been trying for many years to get their own energy systems connected to the unified energy system of the European Union, but this process is still being hampered," he said.

"We are working to ensure that the ENTSO-E report reflects the possibility of using the Ukraine-EU energy bridge as one of the most effective instruments for improving the energy security of the Baltic countries and their further integration into the EU energy system by creating a [link] between the energy bridge and Lithuania's energy system.

"Another strong argument in favour of the soonest possible implementation of the project is the forecast of a systemic electricity deficit in Poland [equivalent to] about 9000 megawatts of installed capacity from 2025."

In its statement, Energoatom noted that the working group for the energy bridge project within Ukraine's Energy and Coal Industry Ministry had in September last year approved an analysis of the feasibility of a public-private partnership. Energoatom has since said that an international energy consortium for the implementation of the energy bridge project would be formed by Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB, Polenergia International Sàrl (Luxembourg) and EDF Trading Limited (UK).

The project foresees electricity export from Khmelnitsky 2 in two ways: via the 750kV transmission line to Rzeszów in Poland and the line to the Albertirsa substation in Hungary. Upgrading work on these lines will enable the addition of 1000 MWe of nuclear power to the existing export potential of Burshtyn Energy Island, which is currently supplied exclusively by thermal generation (550 MW).

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News