Ukraine has accumulated 14.7bn cubic metres of natural gas in its underground storage facilities, passing the target needed to get through the winter, the Ukrainian Ministry of Energy reported on September 19.
Back in July, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal announced plans to accumulate 14.7 bcm of gas and 1.8mn tonnes of coal by the start of the heating season. Subsequently, President Vladimir Zelenskiy held several meetings in September to address energy and infrastructure concerns, leading to intensified preparations across relevant agencies.
German Galushchenko, the Energy Minister, said that government plans to prepare for winter were well underway and in their final stage.
Ukraine has also invested $2.3bn in the restoration and defence of its energy infrastructure ahead of the winter and anticipated Russian rocket strikes against it, according to Shmyhal.
Last year Russia targeted Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in the midst of winter, plunging many cities into darkness in the coldest months. This year Ukraine is better prepared.
Earlier the state-owned gas producer Ukrgazvydobuvannya reported that gas production in Ukraine is on the rise, approaching levels seen before the outbreak of full-scale hostilities, UBN reported on September 18.
In anticipation of more attacks, the Ukrainian presidential office advised residents to make preparations, including acquiring space heaters and other necessary equipment to ensure their comfort and safety.
Ukraine has joined Europe, which is also well ahead of schedule in storing gas, with its tanks 94.15% full as of September 19. The EU requires the tanks to be 90% by November 1, but this year that milestone was already reached in August. Ukraine’s tanks were 34.75% full as of the same date, the highest level since Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) started reporting its figures at the start of 2022. (chart)