Ukraine, Moldova to start commercial power flows to Romania

Aura Sabadus

28-Jun-2022

LONDON (ICIS)–Ukrainian energy companies are preparing to start the first commercial electricity exports to the EU at the end of June, months earlier than initially expected.

A total of 100MW of capacity has been made available for exports to Romania from 30 June. Companies can book daily capacity in line with EU rules.

The Ukrainian and Moldovan electricity grids synchronised with the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) on 16 March, but commercial flows were not expected to start until the beginning of 2023.

According to an ENTSO-E statement on Tuesday, the capacity initially made available is expected to increase based on the stability of the transmission lines and security considerations.

Ukrainian electricity transmission system operator Ukrenergo has been working to comply with technical requirements, ENTSO-E agreed to give the green light to the start of limited commercial flows from the Ukraine/Moldova region to Romania from the end of this month.

Ukraine is connected to ENTSO-E via Romania, Slovakia and Hungary and has a separate isolated line to Poland, where it uses just over 200MW of capacity for exports to the country. The interconnections are bidirectional but Ukraine is expected to be a net exporter for the foreseeable future as domestic prices are suppressed because of Russia’s war in the country.

Within less than an hour after the announcement, Romanian and Ukrainian traders were scrambling to sign supply contracts.

A Romanian trader told ICIS the imports were very attractive as electricity spot prices in Ukraine are around €78.50/MWh, compared to €301.50/MWh on the Romanian exchange OPCOM.

A Ukrainian trader said the Romanian market was very interesting as prices hold a hefty premium. Ukrainian companies are struggling with cash flow issues because thousands of consumers have been disconnected from the grid as Russia shelled and bombed infrastructure.

Exporting electricity to Romania and other neighbouring European countries will allow them to recover costs and stay afloat.

Sources close to Ukrenergo told ICIS the company expected to increase the capacity for commercial flows to 1.5GW by the end of the year, and to 1GW with Poland by the beginning of 2023.

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