* Project to cost Eur55 million
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Ukraine plans to build and upgrade power transmission lines to Poland and Hungary in order to increase power exports there, EnergoAtom president Yuriy Nedashkovskiy said Thursday.
The project, which will link Ukraine's Khmelnytskiy nuclear power plant with Rzeszow in southeast Poland and upgrade an existing transmission line to Hungary, will cost Eur55 million and take 18 months, he said.
"Our Eastern European colleagues have a 6,000-9,000 MW shortage of power," Nedashkovskiy said.
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The project's feasibility study is currently underway, but EnergoAtom has already contacted Barclays, which is ready to lend up to two-thirds of the project financing, Nedashkovskiy said.
The work to renew and upgrade the transmission lines to Poland and Hungary will cost Eur8 million, he said.
At least Eur16 million will be required to disconnect Khmelnytskiy's unit-2 from the Ukrainian power grid and connect it to the Burshtyn energy island, a Ukrainian territory in the Lviv region that is permanently connected to the European power grid.
The remaining Eur31 million will be needed to provide sufficient reserve at Khmelnytskiy unit-2 as it operates with the European power grid, he said.
RUSSIA DEAL RENOUNCED
EnergoAtom, which operates all four nuclear power plants in Ukraine, and Polenergia S.A., a private Polish energy group, signed a preliminary agreement in March 2015 that calls for the 750-kV interconnection to be built to secure power supplies from Khmelnytskiy NPP.
The project would also enable the Khmelnytskiy plant to receive Eur5 billion for the completion of the third and fourth power units.
Piotr Naimski, secretary of state at the Polish prime minister's office for energy infrastructure strategy, said on May 10 that Poland had no plans to build the interconnection.
Units 3 and 4 at Khmelnytskiy NPP were originally supposed to be built by Russia, but the annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and subsequent occupation of Donetsk and Luhansk by pro-Russian militants had undermined the agreement.
"We have completely renounced the agreement [with Russia] as of May 12," Nedashkovskiy said, adding that EnergoAtom is currently looking at possible partners to build the units.
Khmelnytskiy NPP operates two VVER-1,000 nuclear reactors with a total capacity of 2,000 MW. Unit-1 was launched in 1987 and unit-2 was commissioned in 2004.
EnergoAtom produced 29.18 TWh of power in the first four months of the year, down 6.1% year on year, the company said.
--Alexander Bor, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Jonathan Fox, email@example.com