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KIEV, April 9. /TASS/. Ukraine is looking at exporting electricity from nuclear plants to the European Union, a spokesman for the Ukrainian ministry of energy and coal industry told TASS on Thursday.
"The government is working on a draft resolution on establishing an energy bridge Ukraine-the European Union. It is planned to use one unite of the Khmelnitskaya Nuclear Power Plant for long-term electricity exports to countries of the European Union," the spokesman said, adding that such exports would be possible if there were electricity surplus in the country’s energy system.
Proceeds from electricity exports would be used to complete the construction of the Khmelnitsky plant’s third and fourth units.
In the 2014-2015 heating season, Ukraine faced energy shortfalls due to coal shortages. Electricity supplies to industrial consumers and population were cut off in December 2014 to balance the energy system. Electricity imports from Russia that started from December 2014 have helped to avoid further outages.
The problem of coal supplies to electricity plants has not yet been solved due to low electricity tariffs and energy market debts. As of April 9, coal reserves at heat electricity plants were estimated at 700,000 tonnes, which will be enough for ten days, if nor replenished. The power system deficiency is estimated at two gigawatt, or two nuclear units.
Earlier on Thursday, the Ukrainskaya Pravda quoted Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Vladimir Demchishin as saying that Ukraine cannot do without electricity imports. He said that currently Ukraine was lacking at least 1,000 megawatt of electricity. "No anthracite coal is now imported. It is unprofitable to buy it not only in South Africa but even in Russia," he noted. "If not importing electricity, we would have to switch off consumers."
Demchishin said Ukraine was ready to buy coal in Donbass only from enterprises registered on territories controlled by the Ukrainian government. The strategy of work with enterprises in the zone of the force operation in eastern Ukraine was "simple and clear," he said. "We will only buy from those who has been reregistered, who pays taxes on the Ukrainian territory and who operates in the Ukrainian banking system," he said.
Earlier, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk issued an instruction to carry out a probe into the actions of the energy ministry’s officials and state-run companies over the signing of electricity supplies contracts between Ukrainterenergo and Russia’s Inter RAO. He claimed the Ukrainian company had acted in prejudice to national interests. In January 2015, the Ukrainian energy minister said imports of electricity were a temporary measure. "When the system is self-sufficing and we have enough coal we will revoke the contract. Not actually revoke - the contract will stay in force - but will cut import volumes," he then said.