Ukraine boosted natural gas consumption in January-April 2018 by 4%, or 600 million cubic meters (mcm) year-over-year, to 15.8 billion cubic meters (bcm). In particular, the industry consumed 5 bcm of gas (a 25% increase from January-April 2017), while households, municipal heat suppliers and budget organizations used 9.6 bcm (a 4% decrease), the Ukrainian Energy and Coal Ministry has said.
Some 1.2 bcm of gas was used for production and other needs (no change year-over-year). As was reported earlier, Ukraine in 2017 reduced natural gas consumption by 0.5%, or 161 mcm of gas from 2016, to 32.2 bcm.
Ukraine will receive about $3 billion each in 2018 and 2019 as revenues from natural gas transit, Naftogaz Chief Commercial Officer Yuriy Vitrenko has said.
“The revenues from transit should be at the level of $3 billion each in 2018 and 2019,” he wrote on his Facebook page on Tuesday.
According to the ruling of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Naftogaz should receive money from the transit through Ukraine’s gas transport system of 110 billion cubic meters of Russian gas regardless of actual volumes of transportation. The contracts between Gazprom and Naftogaz for gas supply and transit are valid until the end of 2019.
According to Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolev, this is not a classic “take or pay” case, but if Gazprom does not fulfill the contractual volume of transit of 110 billion cubic meters per year, Naftogaz will again file a claim with the arbitration court and will sue the Russian company for non-fulfillment of the terms of the contract.
Public joint-stock company Ukrgazvydobuvannia saw a 2.6-fold rise in net profit in 2017, to UAH 30.473 billion (around $1.16 billion).
According to a report of the company audited by Deloitte and posted on its website, net revenue in 2017 grew by 36.4%, to UAH 75.092 billion, and gross profit soared 2.2-fold, to UAH 42.062 billion.
Ukrgazvydobuvannia saw a 37.4% rise in revenue from natural gas and oil sales in the amount of UAH 67.351 billion, and a 44.1% rise in fuel sales, to UAH 5.151 billion, a 36.8% rise in liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sales, to UAH 1.823 billion, a 53.7% fall in provision of fossil fuel production and preparation services, to UAH 321.959 million and a 7.95 rise in sales of other goods and provision of other services, to UAH 446.187 million.
Ukrgazvydobuvannia, which is wholly owned by NSJC Naftogaz Ukrainy, is a large gas processing company, which accounts for about 75% of total gas output in the country.
It operates Shebelynka gas refinery, Yablunivske department to process gas, Bazylivschyna condensate stabilization unit, and 19 filling stations in Kharkiv region. The latter sells fuel and liquefied gas of its own production. Shebelynka gas refinery started production of petrol and diesel fuel of Euro 5 emission standard in 2018.
Production of natural gas in Ukraine in January-March 2018, according to live data, decreased by 0.7% (by 36.9 million cubic meters) compared to the same period in 2017, to 5.101 billion cubic meters, according to data from PJSC Ukrtransgaz. According to calculations by Interfax-Ukraine, in particular gas production by PJSC Ukrgazvydobuvannia amounted to 3.763 billion cubic meters (1.8% up from January-March 2017), PJSC Ukrnafta to 261.2 million cubic meters (16% down), by other companies to 1.076 billion cubic meters (4.8% down).
In March 2018, gas production amounted to 1.735 billion cubic meters (2.5% down compared to March 2017), in particular extraction by Ukrgazvydobuvannia was 1.289 billion cubic meters (0.1% up), Ukrnafta some 88.6 million cubic meters (16.2% down), other companies some 357.7 million cubic meters (7.3% down).
Ukrtransgaz, 100% owned by Naftogaz Ukrainy, operates a system of trunk gas pipelines and 12 underground gas storage facilities of the country with a total capacity of 31 billion cubic meters.
National energy company Ukrenergo believes that in the conditions of rampant development of renewable energy, highly maneuverable balancing facilities (battery and gas reciprocating power plants) with a capacity of 2.5 GW should be built in Ukraine before 2025, Ukrenergo Head Vsevolod Kovalchuk said at the presentation of the respective study in Kyiv on Tuesday.
“Quick maneuverable balancing facilities should cover 30% of the installed capacity of facilities using renewable energy. Based on the forecasts of how the total capacity of solar power plants and wind farms will increase, by 2025 we need to build maneuverable facilities with a capacity of 2.5 GW – energy storage facilities with lithium batteries and gas reciprocating plants,” he said.
Kovalchuk said that the cost of building these facilities is about UAH 55 billion.
The head of Ukrenergo said that if Ukraine does not build highly maneuverable facilities, then with an increase in the share of renewable energy, it will have to limit production of nuclear power plants (operating in the basic mode) and increase the share of coal-burning thermal power plants (TTPs capable of maneuvering). This will raise the total cost of electricity generated in the country by 57.7%.
Another alternative scenario is to limit the operation of solar power plants and wind farms in the peak periods. This will cost the country even more, as it will have to pay for both operation of nuclear power plants and TPPs, as well as compensate for under-generated electricity of solar power plants and wind farms. In this scenario, the total cost of electricity generated in the country will increase by 99%.
“Out of the three possible scenarios, the construction of highly maneuverable balancing facilities leads to the least increase in the cost of electricity – by 48.7%. The investment of UAH 55 billion in their construction will save UAH 65 billion in comparison with the scenario of limiting the operation of renewable energy,” the head of Ukrenergo said.
The head of the company said that, in his opinion, the construction of energy storage facilities with lithium batteries should be stimulated either by introducing a special tariff (following the example of ‘green’ energy) or through the mechanism of auctions.
“We will initiate the introduction of a feed-in tariff, or other mechanisms that would make it possible to make the profitability of these highly maneuverable facilities no lower than for facilities consuming renewable energy,” Kovalchuk said.
The head of the company said that a pilot project can be organized through Ukrenergo, when the Ukrainian power grid operator itself holds an auction for the construction of energy storage facilities.
At the same time, he said that it would be impossible to delay the solution of the problem. The first 500 MW of highly maneuverable facilities should begin to operate in 2020.
Ukraine in January-March 2018 reduced natural gas imports by 56.5% (by 2.404 billion cubic meters) compared to the same period in 2017, to 1.819 billion cubic meters, according to data from PJSC Ukrtransgaz. According to calculations made by Interfax-Ukraine, in particular 1.248 billion cubic meters were received from Slovakia in January-March 2018 (65.7% less compared to January-March 2017), 339.7 million cubic meters from Hungary (37% up), and 231.1 million cubic meters from Poland (31.3% down).
Imports in March 2018 amounted to 673.9 million cubic meters of gas, which is 52.4% less than in March 2017 (1.403 billion cubic meters).
At the same time, Ukraine has not imported natural gas under the contract with Gazprom for more than two years (since November 26, 2015), purchasing it exclusively on its western border.
Ukrtransgaz, 100% owned by Naftogaz Ukrainy, operates a system of trunk gas pipelines and 12 underground gas storage facilities in the country.