Will Ukraine have enough gas and coal for the winter? Cabinet of Ministers plans several scenarios

The Cabinet and Naftogaz argue, how much gas will be needed

Volodymyr Omelchenko, Razumkov Centre energy programmes director, suggests that even upon additional reduction in consumption, Ukraine will not be able to fully cover its needs with domestic gas. Therefore, it will be necessary to import up to 3 billion cubic meters of gas.

"The level of consumption may be covered with domestic production by 90–95%, and gas volumes in underground gas storages on October 15 may be 3–4 BCM short of the usual level of 18–19 billion. This basic scenario takes into account the high probability of stopping Russian transit, which will require more gas in underground gas storages to maintain working pressures in the GTS," Omelchenko said.

There are great doubts that the government's assignment will be fulfilled. The daily import capacity is 54 million cubic meters. Given that October is three months away, purchases in Europe need to be started right now, as much as possible. However, Naftogaz practically does not import gas yet due to high prices, lack of funds and spare gas. By the way, in the first days of July, the gas price in Europe reached USD 1,800.

Naftogaz is trying to get UAH 226 billion from the special fund for import as compensation for gas sale under special obligations. The company wants to use this money to fill storage facilities to the level of 19 BCM. The corresponding draft law has passed the first reading, but there is still no money for Naftogaz.

Omelchenko believes that in wartime it is absolutely immoral to support a profitable company with funds making almost 20% of the state budget revenues. "The existing tariff (for gas) covers not only all the costs of domestic gas production, but also the investment component. Meanwhile, its profitability rate is at least 40%," he noted.

Omelchenko is convinced that Naftogaz can take funds for the import of 3 BCM of gas from its profit (UAH 12 billion in 2021) or through borrowing and additional targeted financial assistance from international partners. By the way, the Cabinet of Ministers recently lowered the standard for paying dividends to the budget from 95% to 30%, which will allow the company to use 8.5 billion from the profit for gas purchases.

There is enough coal, the problem is in bombardments

The situation with coal does not cause much concern among experts. Enough stocks are left from last year. But even if there are some problems with fossil energy resources, nuclear generation can save the situation, Kharchenko is sure. This is possible, if the NPP units are not stopped for repair during the heating season.

Energoatom assures that there will be no repairs in the winter. The company's information policy department director Oleksandr Kurdynovych said in a comment for RBC Ukraine that after the beginning of hostilities at the end of February, electricity consumption decreased by 40%, and this allowed repairs to be carried out.

"Now some units are undergoing repair work. Until winter, all units will work at maximum capacity to meet the needs of the autumn-winter season," said Kurdinovych.

In addition, in the winter period, Ukraine may switch from electricity exports to Europe to imports, having increased the technical capabilities for this.

"To date, about 10 GW of liquid power generation capacities have been decommissioned or are under occupation. Due to a 30–35% decrease in the electricity demand, peak overload in winter is expected to decrease from 25 GW to 17-18 GW. However, even such a significant reduction will be difficult to cover. Therefore, it is worth preparing for a scenario where electricity export in summer may turn to import in winter during peak hours — up to 1.5 GW," Omelchenko said.



Volodymyr Omelchenko

Director, Energy Programmes

Born in 1967 in Kyiv

Education: Kyiv Politechnic Institute, Department of Chemical Engineering (1992)

Author of over 50 scientific works and op-ed publications. Took part in development and implementation of international energy projects and scientific research in international energy policy


1992 – 1996 — worked in different positions in the mechanical engineering industry

1997 – 1998 — Head Expert of the Division of Oil, Gas and Petroleum Refining Industry of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine

1998 – 2003 — Naftohaz Ukrayiny National Joint-Stock Company, in Charge of Oil Transportation Section

2004 – 2007 — Chief Consultant at the National Institute of International Security Problems of Ukraine’s NSDC

since February, 2007 — Leading Expert, Razumkov Centre. Director of Energy Programmes since 2013

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