Ukraine will look into whether it can urgently supply neighboring Poland with 100,000 tonnes of thermal coal to help it get through the coming winter, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Saturday.
In an evening address, Zelenskiy also said he had ordered that work be speeded up on upgrading a power transmission line from Ukraine’s Khmelnytskyi nuclear plant to Poland.
Ukraine and Poland are increasing this year’s production of thermal coal, the most polluting fossil fuel, preparing for colder months as Europe grapples with an energy security crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.
“I have instructed cabinet to work out the possibility of urgently supplying 100,000 tonnes of thermal coal to Poland right now. We have sufficient volumes for ourselves and we can help our brothers to prepare for this winter,” said Zelenskiy.
Poland, which relies on coal for around 70% of its electricity generation, has introduced measures that will subsidize coal heating for households using fuel for purposes to mitigate surging prices.
Ukraine wants to increase electricity exports to the European Union to boost cash flow to its utilities hit by a drop in electricity use since the Russian invasion.
Zelenskiy said work on upgrading the power transmission line from the Khmelnytskyi plant to the Polish city of Rzeszow needed to be completed by Dec 8.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Friday that Warsaw was interested in buying power from the facility. The line, idled since the 1990s, is scheduled to reopen by the end of the year. (Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Daniel Wallis)