June 22, 2016

Reconstruction of Central Heating and Power Plants and Thermal Power Plants

Bohdan Sokolovskyi

June 17, 2016, agency ZIK reported that Darnytsya CHPP (Kyiv), Chernihiv and Sumy TPPs instead of natural gas will use gas group coal produced in the non-occupied territory of Ukraine. The fact that some Ukrainian CHPPs and TPPs were designed (as a rule, in Soviet times) for use of gas and/or coal as fuel. Already at the stage of designing, they were taking into consideration from which mines and how much coal would be delivered to the plant. As a result, a number of plants were designed for burning anthracite coal (or mixtures with it), produced in the territories currently not controlled by Ukraine.

Over time, particularly following the requirements of economization, a considerable number of stations began using gas. The equipment for use of coal, at best, got technologically outdated, and at worst — was destroyed by autogenous welder. Now, based first of all on the fact that it is not desirable to use gas as a fuel for CHPPs or TPPs, and as there is no guaranteed supply of coal of anthracite group as a result of Russia’s aggression, it is advisable to equip these stations to burn gas group of coal mined in almost all coal basins of our state, in particular — in  Lviv-Volyn Basin.

That is, we are talking about replenishing the equipment of the plants, following the example of many countries with thermal energy engineering. There is plenty of such coal both, in Ukraine, and at an affordable price — in the international markets. At one time, in April last year, former President of Poland, during a visit to Ukraine announced his country's readiness to allocate for this purpose 50 million Euros. Obviously, he thought that Ukraine will also fund such works, at the same time asking for help from other countries. Taking into consideration all this and other Ukrainian realities, the above-mentioned plants’ conversion from gas to coal of gas group can be assessed only positively within the framework of Ukraine's energy independence. And this is good news. However, on the other hand, it is somewhat surprising, since, judging by reports, the work was initiated by the management of the plants and not by the government. But this is only at first glance. We must assume that there is a clear government program for independence of plants, and those who make governmental decisions, have more information, than the public, and on this basis they provide the best solutions, etc.

Apart from these advantages, re-equipment/re-fitting of Ukrainian CHPPs and TPPs for using coal of gas group is multi-purpose in nature. In particular, it will give the opportunity to receive constant orders for mines of Lviv-Volyn Coal Basin, which is important, given the problems existing there. It is obvious that such work is worth being supported and monitored by the state, to show the world real reforms in the industry (if it does not harm some secrets). In a word, there are particular cases showing these reforms in the sphere of energy, and there is no need to invent myths about reforms in the context of creating a positive image of the industry's leadership, the government and the state.