Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant (Credit: Energoatom)The Ukraine – European Union energy bridge will allow Ukraine’s Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant to export electricity to Europe within the framework of the Energomost project, Ukrainian nuclear Energoatom said.

There are plans to disconnect Khmelnitsky 2 from the United Energy System of Ukraine and export electricity in two directions – through the upgraded 750kV transmission line to Rzeszow in Poland, as well as through the existing line to the Albertirsha substation in Hungary after modernisation of the Western Ukrainian substation, Energoatom explained. This will add 1000MWe of nuclear electricity to the existing export potential of Burshtyn thermal power plant island, which is currently exclusively thermal generation (550MWe).

The Burshtyn island is synchronised and connected to the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E) grid via the power systems of Hungary and Slovakia. Its purpose is to accelerate the integration of Ukrainian power system into the Continental Europe region. Burshtyn Island was put into parallel operation with ENTSO-E in 2002.

Grzegosz Stanislavsky, a member of the supervisory board of the Polish company Polenergia, who is also on the board of the Ukraine Power Bridge Company consortium, said on 30 November during a meeting with Energoatom that the energy bridge "should be actively implemented”. He added: “After all, it has geopolitical significance not only for Energoatom and the state of Ukraine, but above all for the European countries, which are forced to fight for their energy independence."

Energoatom head Petr Kotin stressed that the company is interested in the Energomost project, despite recent difficulties, and is doing everything possible to implement it. “Now the main thing is for Energoatom to have the opportunity to conclude an agreement on the supply of carbon-free electricity produced by Ukrainian NPPs to the EU countries. We have repeatedly emphasised that any suggestion that the project may harm the integration of the United Energy System of Ukraine with ENTSO-E is unfounded.” He stressed that from the beginning Energomost was conceived as a step towards synchronidation of the domestic power system with the European energy system, but in no case as an alternative.

One of the best ways to implement the project, he said, is for the supply of electricity from Khmelnitsky 2 to transit through the power system of Poland to European countries. “Together we need to work out this direction, analyse the forecast demand for electricity and establish working contacts with European operators of the power system." 

In August 2019, the commission of the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry announced the winner of a competition for the implementation of a public-private partnership for the energy bridge project – the Ukraine Power Bridge Company Limited. This consortium includes Westinghouse (USA), France’s EDF, Polenergia International, and the Hungarian national energy company MVM.

Photo:  Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant (Energoatom)