Japan, UNDP deliver equipment to secure power supply for over 5.5 million Ukrainians

Gas turbines and autotransformers will sustain vital services for Ukrainians in heavily affected regions during winter 2024

January 8, 2024
Photo: Kseniia Nevenchenko / UNDP Ukraine

Kyiv, 8 January 2024 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine and its long-time strategic partner, the Government of Japan, have jointly announced the provision of three cutting-edge gas turbines and provided assistance in transporting seven autotransformers to Ukraine. The autotransformers were previously purchased by the National Power Company “Ukrenergo” with the funds from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). This collaborative effort, implemented in coordination with the Ministry of Energy of Ukraine, aims to meet urgent needs of Ukraine's energy sector for the winter of 2024, while also supporting long-term national goals. 

In the aftermath of the Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in the winter of 2022, which resulted in a significant reduction in power generation capacity by over half, approximately 93% of Ukrainians faced disruptions in essential services like electricity, heating, and water supplies. The provision of the gas turbines and transportation of the autotransformers is designed to proactively prevent such disruptions this winter, ensuring the continuity of critical services for over 5.5 million Ukrainians in affected areas. 

The provided equipment also aligns with the Ukrainian government’s priorities for decentralization and the transition to a green energy sector – the potential to use biohydrogen as fuel for the gas turbines is part of this sustainable approach and contributes to achieving environmental goals.

The handover of the equipment was marked at a ceremony attended by Yoko Kamikawa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, who emphasized Japan's enduring commitment to supporting Ukraine. 

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Minister Kamikawa emphasized the importance of supporting Ukraine’s energy sector, stating, "This support to restore the destroyed energy infrastructures will contribute to the uninterrupted supply of electricity and heating for people in Ukraine to survive the cold winter." She  also iterated that the Government of Japan remains committed to supporting the Government of Ukraine. “My visit to Ukraine this time will hopefully serve as an opportunity to further strengthen bilateral cooperation with the Government of Ukraine for rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts. I am unwavering in my determination to continue to support Ukraine so that it can regain peace. Japan is committed to walk alongside Ukraine,” she said.

German Galushchenko, Minister of Energy of Ukraine, expressed gratitude for the ongoing support and commitment to keep assisting Ukraine. He remarked, "The support of the Government of Japan and UNDP colleagues is very important for us during these challenging times. Together, we are actively executing projects that not only contribute to the resilience of our current energy system but also encompass substantial plans for fostering collaboration and advancing the future energy sector of Ukraine."

UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Ukraine Christophoros Politis emphasized that UNDP is actively supporting the Ukrainian government in its constant efforts to restore the country's energy infrastructure:

“For the second consecutive year, in collaboration with our partners, we've been diligently working to assist Ukraine in preparing for potential energy threats, ensuring that everyone has light and warmth during the winter,” Politis said.

He stated, “Throughout this support, we recognize that the equipment provided must do more than fulfil its primary function; it must also catalyse Ukraine's energy sector with innovative solutions, laying the groundwork for a greener and more decentralized infrastructure. This fosters dependable power distribution and bolsters the country's pursuit of sustainable development.”

According to the UNDP in Ukraine report “Towards a Green Transition of the Energy Sector in Ukraine,” power generation capacity in Ukraine has been reduced to nearly 50 percent of its pre-2022 levels. Out of nearly 37 GW of installed capacity, over 19 GW has been destroyed, damaged or occupied since February 2022.

Background: The Government of Japan is one of UNDP’s most prominent partners in Ukraine and is funding the purchase of equipment for the restoration of critical infrastructure of Ukraine on a continuous basis. Previously, with Japan's financial backing, UNDP supplied essential emergency equipment to communities across Ukraine, including 1,000 power banks and 1,200 generators. Subsequently, in October 2023, two high-power autotransformers were delivered to enhance the country's power transmission capacity.

Media enquiries: Yuliia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Head of Communications; e-mail: yuliia.samus@undp.org