There is a lively discussion in the media of the possible construction of the direct current back-to-back converter station (DC back-to-back converter station) between the IPS of Ukraine and the Burshtynska TPP Island.
Ukrenergo feels it necessary to offer some clarification in this regard.
A direct current link is a facility designed for converting alternating current into direct current and vice versa.
Export and import from the EU to the larger part of the Ukrainian territory (96% of production and consumption) are currently not possible. At the same time, the most part of the IPS is characterised by very low competition due to the high concentration of the market power in the hands of two players – DTEK Energy and SE NNPC Energoatom. This dynamic will change after full synchronisation between the Ukrainian and the European power systems, however, it will not happen until 2023.
The only way to boost competition and give access to Ukrainian market for European agents before full synchronisation with ENTSO-E is construction of the 600MW+ DC back-to-back converter station between the IPS of Ukraine and the Burshtynska TPP Island (SS 750 Zakhidnoukrainska).
Currently, the Ministry of Energy and Coal is studying the project of extending the Burshtynska TPP Island through construction of the Ukraine-EU Energy Bridge.
The project envisages dedicating the second 1000 MW power unit at the Khmelnitska NPP and 750 MW overhead line Khmelnitska NPP-Rzeszow will export electricity to Poland.
The Ukraine-EU Energy Bridge project is facing certain challenges:
- safe operation of the second power unit of the Khmelnitska NPP in terms of supplying its own demand and dynamic stability isn’t proven;
- Khmelnitska NPP’s 2nd power unit will no longer be supplying electricity to Ukraine (a 20-year direct export contract is envisioned) while the current PSO model doesn’t allow for exporting electricity generated by Energoatom;
- restricted generation of other power units of Rivnenska and Khmelnitska NPPs for Ukraine’s needs;
- Under the project, electricity produced by the state-owned Energoatom will be sold to a single private company for 20 years.
Ukrenergo believes that the economic feasibility of the Ukraine-EU Energy Bridge project is much smaller than that of the DC back-to-back converter station construction project. Ukrenergo will focus on developing the feasibility study for DC back-to-back converter station construction that will be carried out in consultation with the World Bank experts.