On April 6, the Zmievskaya CHPP, supplying the north-east of Ukraine, is to be stopped, the other day the Tripolskaya and the Pridneprovskaya thermal power plants stopped working. In addition, next week the Krivotozhskaya thermal power station will stop because of the lack of supplies of anthracite coal from Donbass.
Within two months after the beginning of the next round of the blockade, experts warned that this would lead to the collapse of Ukraine’s energy system, the restoration of which would be very time-consuming and laborious. They say that the restart of the system would take more than half a year, that Ukraine does not have special equipment and filters that would allow buying electricity from Western countries. “At the same frequency, we have completely different parameters with Europe,” says Mikhail Volynets, an expert on energy and coal mining.
But, judging by the latest statements of the Ukrainian Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Igor Nasalik, there is no need to buy electricity at all. He said that two TPPs were stopped to save coal, and the heating season has already ended, and the Zmievskaya is frozen, it turns out, “due to excess capacity in the system.” The Ministry of Energy informed that coal can be purchased not only in the rebellious republics, but also, for example, in South Africa, Australia or even the ‘closest’ partner – the US, which, according to Mr. Nasalik, is currently negotiating the supply of 1 million tons of anthracite.
Even if we omit the fact that Ukrainian ports are not equipped with specialized deep-sea platforms for importing coal and there is simply no money in the country to make an advance payment, does the issue of the final price not concern Minister Nasalik? Neither the fact that the astronomical cost of anthracite will be reflected in bills for heat and electricity that ordinary Ukrainians will receive nor that this increase will make the products of enterprises unprofitable, if they can produce it at all.
There is a feeling that the current Ukrainian government is interested in the present situation. Now they can calmly find an excuse for the fall of production and unemployment.
Only the restraint of ordinary Ukrainians is surprising in this story. They relatively quietly perceived the growth of communal tariffs several times and raising the retirement age in exchange for the next tranche from the IMF. They are threatened with fanning out of electricity and another jump in prices due to the fact that the authorities are engaged in redistribution of spheres of influence using radical groups. What else should stop for this patience to come to an end?
Alla Barkhatnova, the DPR People’s Council deputy