Kiev, Ukraine, September 21, 2012 — Ukraine launched the construction of a 220-mile long power line with the electricity transmission capacity of 750 kV. The new transmission line will be the fourth one in Ukraine and in Europe with such capacity.
The other three connect Ukraine with Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria respectively. When completed in 2014 the power line will enhance energy supply to central and southern Ukraine, provide for reduced emissions, reduce dependence on foreign natural gas and use excess power production capacity at Ukrainian nuclear power plants.
The new power line will enable the country to fully exploit the underutilized capacity of Rivnenska and Khmelnytska power plants in western Ukraine. Each of these plants had two new power units installed back in 2004 with the power producing capacity of up to 5,000 MW total.
However, due to the limited transmission capacities of the existing power lines the potential of western nuclear power plants could not be fully utilized. The new power line will also stabilize electricity supply to central Ukraine, Kyiv and Odesa.
Ukrainian experts predict that the annual cost saving introduced by the power line connecting western and central regions will reach about $111 million.
Importantly, the new project will help reduce consumption of natural gas, which goes along the lines of Ukraine's strategic goal — reaching energy independence. Under the updated draft of the energy strategy of Ukraine it is planned that by 2030 the country will increase electricity production by 45.44 percent up to 282 billion kWh compared to 194 billion kWh that are currently produced.
Moreover, burning less natural gas and oil to produce electricity in central regions will consequently reduce emissions of hazardous substances into atmosphere.
The cost of the construction works totals up to $520 million with $389 million being secured by the EBRD and the remaining $129 million — by Ukraine's state company NPC Ukrenergo.
Notably, in September 2011 the European Investment Bank and the Ukraine's NPC Ukrenergo signed a $227 million agreement, which stipulates the construction of the new power line on Europe's largest nuclear power station in Zaporizhzhia, Southern Ukraine. This will help unblock the 700 MW capacity at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station.