Gastech News: In our previous conversation Mr Vitrenko, you talked about the importance of natural gas developments in Ukraine. Apart from gas, what other sources are fundamental for the country’s energy future?
Yuriy Vitrenko: First of all, there are very easy answers to these problems. People should, for example when it’s cold - and we have cold winters - close windows and spend on gas carefully and efficiently, because Ukraine is a very poor country and yet we have the highest temperature in our rooms and we are wasting all this energy with open windows, poorly insulated buildings and old and obsolete gas boilers and other pieces of infrastructure. So, first of all we need to not waste gas, and then we have some options for the use of alternative hard fuels like pellets from wood, or straw pellets. Then we have some opportunities for the development of bio gas in Ukraine. With coal, the situation is a bit more difficult because our coal is located in the region that is currently being invaded by Russian troupes, and that’s why it’s not easy to get coal from this region, but we hope that the Ukrainian government will regain control of this region. That’s why developing new coal bases is probably not a good idea. With coal the situation is a bit more difficult, but historically in Ukraine coal was one of the major fuels used by generating companies.
Gastech News: How do you see Ukraine’s gas future in the next 3 years?
Yuriy Vitrenko: I hope that in 3, or maybe 4 or 5 years, Ukraine will not need to import gas, because if we increase production as planned by 30 percent in the next 3 to 4 years, and at the same time decrease consumption of gas due to energy efficiency measure, we will need to import only marginal volumes of gas, only a couple of billions per year. That would of course increase the energy security of Ukraine dramatically. We also do hope that after the decision of the Stockholm court of arbitration, we will revise the price of Russian gas. We will have to accept this new market reality, and also we hope that we will have an efficient gas market in Ukraine where there will be many sellers and many buyers - everything that you can see in more developed markets at the moment like in the Netherlands and in Germany. That’s our role model and we’re hoping to get that in Ukraine.
Gastech News: This is an ambitious plan. Do you think it can be achieved in the next 3-5 years?
Yuriy Vitrenko: Yes, we are moving very fast. Even over the last year we adopted a new law of the gas market that implemented the Third Energy Package in Ukraine. Last autumn, all the secondary legislation was adopted by the regulator and by the government, so we have network codes and rules of supply that are very standard for European markets. Also, over the last year, we diversified our gas supplies and we built new interconnectors. There are already international players entering the Ukrainian market, so if we keep the same kind of pace, I am more or less positive that we will have a proper market in 3 to 4 years.
Join the Conversation: Raising domestic gas production, increasing diversity of gas supply and implementing new reforms, what is Ukarine's top priority to make concrete steps towards energy independence? Share your views below.
To explore micro commercial, strategic and political influences which are driving the EU Natural Gas and LNG agenda, such as the critical drivers for supply diversification and the immediate term security of demand opportunities, attend the EAGC Conference in The Hague, 15-17 November 2016.
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