Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Ukraine will take part in EU’s planned joint gas purchases on the global market, the European Commission announced on Thursday.
The EU is preparing to launch joint purchases, noting that pooling demand will help the bloc to secure gas contracts and replace Russian imports with alternatives, according to Reuters reporting on Thursday.
European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson noted that Ukraine will need help to prepare for the heating season.
“Ukraine has indicated that, on top of their own domestic production, they might need, for a secure winter, another 2 billion cubic metres,” she stressed at a press conference on Thursday.
EU expands regasification capacity
Maroš Šefčovič, European Commissioner for Digital Single Market who is to lead the bloc’s joint gas purchasing, held an online meeting with gas suppliers earlier this week.
He reminded that the EU was expanding its liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification capacities and hoped to reach 227 billion cubic metres annually by the end of the year, up from the current 178 billion cubic metres or so.
Ukraine consumed 27.3 billion cubic metres of natural gas in 2021, of which domestic production covered roughly 19.8 and import about 2.6, with 4.9 drawn from underground storage.
According to Ukrainian state-owned oil and gas company Naftogaz, national production of natural gas stood at approximately 18 billion cubic metres last year, down compared to 2021.
Ukraine does not use a lot of gas to generate electricity and largely relies on nuclear energy for power generation, but relies on natural gas for industry and heating.
The country does not import natural gas from Russia directly, but operates pipelines that carry Russian gas to other parts of Europe.
Kiev reported on Thursday that Russian attacks took a nuclear power plant off the grid, stressing that Moscow continues to target Ukrainian energy infrastructure.
Simson announced plans to hold an emergency online meeting between Ukrainian and EU officials to discuss the state of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.
She pointed out that, according to Ukrainian authorities, Russian missile attacks forced the nuclear power station, the largest one in Europe, to switch to emergency diesel power.