Belarus, Ukraine in negotiations on energy import terms
Belarus is in negotiations with Ukraine in a bid to work out mutually acceptable terms of Ukrainian energy import, First Deputy Energy Minister of Belarus Eduard Tovpenets told BelTA.
"We are working with the Ukrainian side in order to find acceptable conditions of energy supplies to Belarus. We have no signed contracts yet," he said.
The official explained, buying energy on the Ukrainian wholesale market is unprofitable for Belarus. "The existing wholesale market price doesn't suit us," underscored Eduard Tovpenets. "The Ukrainian side says it will need a domestic legal instrument to allow energy export at a price lower than that of the wholesale market". "We are seeking compromises," said the official.
Eduard Tovpenets made it clear, the import of energy from Ukraine can be resumed only on the conditions Belarus finds suitable. "Working parties will be set up to work on these issues," he added.
Earlier BelTA quoted President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko as saying that Belarus intends to resume Ukrainian energy purchases. The President made the statement during talks with President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko in Chernigov on January 20. According to Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus is technically capable of doing it.
In 2005 the 330kV interstate power transmission lines Chernigov-Gomel and the Chernobyl nuclear power plant - Mozyr were restored and prepared for the supply of Ukrainian electricity to Belarus after a long time of inactivity. In 2006 Belarus imported 2.5 billion kWh of energy from Ukraine, in H1 2007 - about 800 million kWh. However, since H2 2007 Belarus has not imported Ukrainian electricity as the sides failed to agree the price.
The power transmission lines Chernigov-Gomel and the Chernobyl nuclear power plant - Mozyr can also be used for Ukrainian power transit via Belarus to the Baltic states.
The capacity of the Belarusian energy system exceeds 7,800 MW. It is fully capable of satisfying the domestic demand for energy. Meanwhile, it is profitable for Belarus to import some electricity in order to leave the least effective facilities on standby. In 2009 Belarus will import up to 5 billion kWh of electric energy from Russia.