Asymmetric blow: as Ukraine pushes Russia on the Moldovan energy market

Nuclear export of electricity to Moldova and Ukraine not only knocks out the Russian monopoly from the market of a neighbor, but also covers the debugged schemes of financing of Transnistrian separatists and muddy businessmen on both sides of the Dniester.

From 1 April Ukraine starts electricity exports to Moldova. The decision, which is primarily economic, can have a significant impact on the political situation in the region. The existing scheme of power supply of Moldova was beneficial for Moscow and tying the energy needs of the country at MOLDPRES located in Transnistria and owned by the Russian “inter RAO”.

Moldavian state district power station with an installed capacity of 3650 MW located on the territory of Transnistria and Moldova is not monitored, although the company nominally registered in Chisinau.

It Moldavian state district power station provided electricity and Moldova, and the separatist enclave of Transnistria.

According to experts, the scheme, which carried out the supply, was very uncomfortable Moldova: Gazprom supplying gas located in Transnistria GRES produced from gas to electricity through the company “Energocapital” was delivered in Moldova, and the proceeds for the electric power tools remained in Transnistria. Since SDPP supply of gas not paid for, “Gazprom” is trying to hang a “duty” to Moldova. Thus, it has accumulated $ 5 billion, which the official Chisinau does not recognize naturally.

Not surprisingly, this situation did not suit either the government or opposition politicians. In the Moldovan media and sparked waves of outrage associated with the actual financing of the separatists at the expense of Moldovan consumers.

Ukraine was previously a supplier of electricity to Moldova. For example, in the autumn of 2005 until middle of 2009, Ukraine was the only source of electricity supply for Moldovan consumers. Energy systems of both countries are working in parallel, between them is the flow of electricity.

To understand the significance of the TPP for Transnistria, just look at the statistics: in 2015, the main article of the Transnistrian exports were energy. And the power plant, and the company “Energocapital”, engaged in the export of its electricity, was the largest taxpayers “PMR”. Thanks to them, Transnistria was provided in foreign currency. After entering the Moldovan market of Ukrainian electricity Tiraspol is deprived of a significant part of the budget.

The replacement of the electricity Transnistrian, Ukrainian nuclear power plant will enable Moldova to get rid of energy dependence on Russia and Transnistria. Moreover, overlaps one of the sources of financing Tiraspol. Russia will have to seek additional funds for the maintenance of your enclave.

On the other hand, the export of atomic energy aims at least partially to compensate the losses of the Ukrainian energy system incurred in connection with the loss of mines in uncontrolled territory. Now in Ukraine formed a paradoxical situation — on the one hand, the huge shortage of coal needed for thermal power plants; on the other, the surplus and nedovrsenoj nuclear generation. Unfortunately, these types of generation are not interchangeable because they perform different functions. Nuclear units operate in a basic mode, and coal-fired power plants — perform balancing function, removing voltage spikes. That is why on March 5 Energoatom was forced to withdraw from the system the 2nd unit of Zaporizhzhya NPP.

Sale of surplus atomic energy abroad will help to cover the cost to the economy of Ukraine that emerged with the need to import expensive coal. First of all, we are talking about the increased trade deficit and the associated exchange rate risks for the national currency. This is particularly important in the context of the postponement of the next tranche from the IMF. We have no other way but to maximally stimulate its own exports. The export to Moldova will give the following economic benefits: increase in foreign exchange earnings in the country to $ 150 million and additional payments to the state budget — about $ 30 million.

The export of nuclear energy is beneficial for Ukrainian consumers. The cost of “Energoatom” for the production of electricity are conventionally permanent. The more a company let go of power, the lower the rate of nuclear power plants in General and consumers in particular. Additional proceeds from the sale of electricity for export will allow Energoatom to pay part of the cost of Ukrainian consumers in overseas in the sum more than 500 million hryvnia, and the operator backbone networks GP “Ukrenergo” — up to 100 million.

An asymmetrical attack on the Russian energy hegemony in Moldova, Ukraine reminds Kremlin that the hybrid confrontation in the Donbass — not a one-sided game. And the war has many fronts, among which the economic is not the last place.