Naftogaz has begun preparatory work for the CHPs that will operate on biomass (wood chips) and refuse derived fuel (RDF) in Lviv and Zhytomyr. The total capacity of the facilities will make 90 MW of heat energy and 11 MW of electricity. The planned period to put the facilities into operation in Lviv is Q1 2023, in Zhytomyr – Q4 2023.
During 30 September and 01 October, the management representatives of National Joint Stock Company “Naftogaz of Ukraine” together with the members of the Verkhovna Rada who are also the members of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Energy and Housing and Communal Services visited Zhytomyr and Lviv to get detailed information on the projects implementation plans.
During this visit, the CEO of National Joint Stock Company “Naftogaz of Ukraine” Yuriy Vitrenko noted that Naftogaz is already helping Ukrainian cities to transfer their CHPs from gas to biofuel (here it refers to the projects in Zhytomyr, Lviv, Okhtyrka), and is ready to support other cities in this direction, as well. “We are interested in investing in such projects in order to import less gas at skyrocketing prices. The implementation of such projects is also cost-efficient, and for the environment, such investments quickly pay off, while tax money goes to the local budgets, and the number of jobs grows”, – emphasised Yuriy Vitrenko.
As he says, the smooth passage of the heating season requires a comprehensive approach. These are sufficient gas reserves in the gas storage facilities (currently 13.9 bcm) and stabilization of its own production – the most important tasks for Naftogaz, as well as the transition of heat generating enterprises to modern technologies, the use of biofuel and the modernization of the networks to reduce heat loss. However, the upcoming heating season is mostly endangered by the war risks. The probability of the energy infrastructure facilities being destructed by the enemy remains high. “The state, local authorities, Naftogaz, heating companies are doing their utmost to get through this winter smoothly. But people should be prepared too. First of all, save gas as it is a costly resource. It is better to spend the money saved for our army that needs support more than ever”, – believes the CEO of Naftogaz.
The mayor of Zhytomyr, Serhii Sukhomlyn, informed that together with Naftogaz, the city is implementing a project that within only a year will be able to ensure the production of 50 MW of energy which will be generated from alternative fuels. Zhytomyr is a successful example of reducing dependence on natural gas. In 2015, the regional centre consumed 93 mmcm of gas per year, and already during this heating season, the volume may not exceed 45 mmcm. In a year, the city is planning on using only 10% from the volume consumed in 2015. Due to its RDF, Zhytomyr can replace approximately 20 mmcm of gas every year which amounts to USD 40 mn monthly. Therefore, the Zhytomyr government and Naftogaz management are planning on the implementation of three projects in the city that will allow savings by converting household waste and wood chips into heat and electricity.
No less successful is the example of Lviv, where, together with the city authorities, Naftogaz is planning on launching a biomass-fuelled CHP in February which will reduce the city’s dependence on gas. The mayor of Lviv Andrii Sadovyi has thanked Naftogaz for the implementation of the joint project. He noted that both the Lviv government and Naftogaz have a range of agreements to later attract funds from international financial organisations for such projects. The mayor of Lviv emphasised that for the city, it would be the first powerful alternative fuel CHP which will cover approximately a quarter of its heat needs. This project was planned to be implemented with the EBRD for a long time, but it that case its implementation would begin only next year. With Naftogaz, it can be implemented faster. As he says, the participation of the national company which is a market leader also provides additional opportunities, in particular, in obtaining the necessary equipment.
In general, Naftogaz intends to construct at least 9 biomass-fuelled CHPs and boiler houses in 8 regions of Ukraine with a total capacity of 250 MW of heat energy and 52 MW of electric energy. The company is ambitious about becoming the largest generator of heat from biomass by 2027 and ensuring the replacement of approximately 2 bcm of natural gas.
Ukraine can almost completely refuse the use of natural gas for central heating, replacing it, in particular, with bioenergy.