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Ukrainian gas infrastructure is ready for heating season during war - stress test results

The gas infrastructure is also ready to operate without Russian gas transit. 

Ukrainian gas infrastructure is ready for heating season during war - stress test results
Photo: Ministry of Energy

The Ukrainian GTS and UGS facilities are ready to operate in conditions of zero transit of Russian gas. The gas transportation system is also ready for the 2023/2024 winter season in the face of war challenges, and domestic UGS facilities can be used as reliable storage facilities for European gas, reports the Ministry of Energy.

An independent technical assessment was provided by an international expert group after modeling the operation of the GTS and UGS facilities under potential scenarios in the event of enemy attacks on gas infrastructure, other emergencies and the stoppage of Russian gas transit.

The report was published on the USAID Energy Security Project website.

“We are fighting an insidious enemy - Russia can terminate the contract any day, regardless of legal formalities. Therefore, our GTS must be ready for possible challenges. Our GTS is becoming an even more powerful component of the European gas transportation system. The key goal is to create an energy hub in Ukraine, particularly for gas storage by the EU countries. We have done a tremendous amount of work to certify Ukrtransgaz as a gas storage operator in accordance with European standards. Despite the military risks, we are doing everything possible to provide guarantees to European traders for gas storage in Ukraine," said Energy Minister Herman Galushchenko.

The inspection of the technical conditions during the stress test confirmed the reliability of gas transportation and storage even in the face of military risk and damage to key assets.

"We have received reliability confirmation of ensuring the uninterrupted operation of foreign companies with Ukrainian UGS facilities. An independent technical assessment of any process is always a necessity. This confirms that our processes meet international standards. This in itself is a guarantee of the services we provide," said Oleksiy Chernyshev, Chairman of Naftogaz Group.

All scenarios model the failure of various combinations of critical facilities of operators. The analysis also takes into account the data on attacks on facilities in 2022/2023, the structure and characteristics of damage in different regions of Ukraine.

"Ukraine's GTS operator is extremely responsible for its customers, both domestic and foreign. It is important for us to be as clear and transparent partner for our customers as possible, so together with our colleagues from Ukrtransgaz, our managers analysed possible crisis situations and worked out scenarios for their resolution. We are pleased to announce the positive opinion of independent international experts on calculations accuracy. It confirms the reliability of Ukraine's gas infrastructure even during a full-scale Russian invasion," said Dmytro Lypa, CEO of GTSOU.

According to SRG's independent experts, the scenarios of the simulated stress tests are accurate and confirm the technical stability of Ukraine's UGS facilities.

"Together with our partners, we have developed various stress test scenarios for our underground gas storage system. We have enough capacity to withdraw natural gas even in case of damage to the gas infrastructure due to enemy attacks. This was confirmed by an independent technical assessment," emphasised CEO of Ukrtransgaz.

The relevant stress test was initiated by the Ukrainian Ministry of Energy. The simulation was carried out by a working group consisting of and with the assistance of the USAID Energy Security Project, the Energy Community Secretariat, the European Commission's Directorate-General for the Joint Research Centre, Simone Research Group, Naftogaz of Ukraine, and Ukrtransgaz and the Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine, respectively.

Earlier, Oleksandr Kubrakov, Minister of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine, said that more than 70% of housing and communal services facilities are ready for the heating season. Facilities are expected to be 100% ready by 1 October. In August, the head of Ukrenergo said that it was necessary to prepare for difficult scenarios in the energy sector in the winter, as it was impossible to predict Russian attacks. The company is currently restoring damaged power facilities and protect them against new attacks.

For his part, the Prime Minister predicts that the winter will be difficult, but we must survive. He says that the government is not going to downplay the threats, risks and challenges of the heating season. 

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