Poland and Ukraine to link power grids by end of year

by Cristian Florescu

Poland and Ukraine will connect their power systems by the end of this year, allowing cross-border trade in a time of growing concern over energy security following Russia’s invasion, writes Notes from Poland

The power line will connect Poland’s southeastern city of Rzeszów with Khmelnytskyi in western Ukraine and have a voltage of 400 kV, said Piotr Naimski, the Polish government’s commissioner for strategic energy infrastructure, at an energy conference in Gdańsk, reports Polskie Radio.

He added that work on the Polish side of the line would be completed this year and that the two country’s grid operators – PSE in Poland and Ukrenergo in Ukraine – are working on an agreement for its operation.

The line will make it “possible to export energy from Ukraine to Poland” but also “to import energy from Poland in the future in case of problems in Ukraine”, said Oleksandr Motsyk, an advisor to Ukraine’s energy minister, quoted by the Biznes Alert news service.

PSE has announced that design work for its side of the connection is already underway and tenders for equipment and construction are being organised. The cost of the project on the part of PSE is estimated at around 30 million zloty (€6.44 million).

Currently, the only line operating across the Polish-Ukrainian border does not connect the power systems of the two countries, but two Ukrainian power plants directly to the Polish energy system. Before the outbreak of war, Ukraine also exported electricity to neighbouring Romania, Slovakia and to Hungary.

The energy systems of Ukraine and Europe were synchronised in the first month of the war. This month, ENTSO-E, the organisation of European electricity transmission operators, agreed to the preconditions presented by Ukrenergo, which gradually open up new opportunities for electricity trade with Ukraine.

At this week’s conference, Naimski told reporters that Poland would seek to speed up the completion of a floating storage regasification unit for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Gdańsk. The government recently announced that the facility would be twice as big as previously planned due to interest from Ukraine, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Motsyk also revealed that Ukraine is keen to “share out knowledge and experience in nuclear energy with Poland”, whose government is in the process of developing the country’s first nuclear power plants.

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