Energoatom official becomes Ukraine's new energy minister

30 April 2021

Herman Halushchenko, vice president of development at Ukrainian nuclear power plant operator Energoatom, has been appointed the country's new energy minister, following approval yesterday by the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament. Halushchenko received support from 305 lawmakers in the 450-seat chamber. The ministry had been under a caretaker minister since the collapse of the previous government in March 2020.

Herman Halushchenko, Ukraine's new energy minister (Image: Energoatom)

According to local media, Halushchenko will need to ensure Ukraine's energy policy is in line with demands from the International Monetary Fund as the government seeks to resume borrowing from the fund. Addressing parliamentarians yesterday, Halushchenko said "Electricity and gas tariffs should not be increased, but ways should be sought how to reduce them for vulnerable groups of the population."

Ukraine launched an electricity market in July last year, but this tied Energoatom to selling 85% of its electricity production to the Guaranteed Buyer at a fixed low price within the Public Service Obligation mechanism. The other 15% could be sold on the day-ahead market.

A year later, Halushchenko said Energoatom will thrive in a free market and be able to export surplus electricity if the government removes impediments to its success. Having a wholesale market was "a big plus", he said, but only when there is a level playing field and a guarantee of full payment. Neither condition is being met at present, he said and market participants have accrued a huge amount of debt. "This isn't Energoatom's fault," he said, "but a case of how the market is functioning."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News