Poland-Ukraine energy link could be ready in early 2023: officials

Poland could begin exporting energy to Ukraine early next year unless Russia causes further damage to Ukraine’s power grid, officials have said.

A damaged power line near Kherson, southern Ukraine, Nov. 26, 2022.

A damaged power line near Kherson, southern Ukraine, Nov. 26, 2022.Photo: EPA/ROMAN PILIPEY

An energy link between Poland’s southeastern city of Rzeszów and the western Ukrainian city of Khmelnytskyi could be ready for launch in the first quarter of 2023, Poland’s biznesalert.pl website has reported.   

However, much will depend on the situation in war-torn Ukraine, in particular the scale of Russia’s missile attacks, which may jeopardise the project, biznesalert.pl said on Thursday.

Russia’s missile and drone strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure have already forced Kyiv to import power, rather than export the resource, as was the original plan, according to officials. 

Rzeszów-Khmelnytsky link could be ready in Q1 2023

Tomasz Sikorski, deputy CEO of Poland’s state-run energy transmission company PSE, told reporters: “The line [to Ukraine] is necessary, although currently it is Ukraine that needs to import energy and export is out of the question.”

He added that both Poland and Ukraine were working to restore the Rzeszów-Khmelnytskyi line “in the first quarter of 2023,” but it remained to be seen if the Ukrainian section could be ready by this date, given the constant Russian missile barrage and the power outages caused by Russian attacks. 

“Europe’s energy operators are working closely together to make it possible to export power to Ukraine and Moldova,” Sikorski said.

Ukraine’s energy system under Russian attack  

As part of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia in the autumn launched a series of missile strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, cutting off a third of the country’s power supply, biznesalert.pl reported.   

In response, the government in Kyiv has been limiting energy consumption through emergency blackouts and has planned to step up imports from the European Union, including through Poland.

One possible route is the Rzeszów-Khmelnytsky link, which could also be used during peacetime to import energy from Ukraine’s nuclear power plants to Poland, officials told reporters. 

In the spring of 2022, Ukraine joined Europe’s Energy Community, synchronising its energy system with those of EU member states and the countries of the Balkan and Black Sea regions, biznesalert.pl reported.

(pm/gs)

Source: biznesalert.plpolskieradio.pl, Reuters

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