MISSION WITHOUT BORDERS
"Reaching people for Christ: helping thousands of people out of poverty into a sustainable future"

Energy Crisis in Ukraine

10/1/2014

Russia cutting off gas-supplies to UA has unleashed an energy crisis.


Ukraine is in an energy crisis situation now and has been since mid-June 2014 when Russia cut off the natural gas supply. The coal mining area of Donbas (Donets and Luhansk regions) is under the control of Russia-backed separatists. Ukraine that has always been an exporter of coal is looking for sources to import coal to, to enable energy producing stations to operate. A deal is struck with South Africa's companies to supply 1 million tons of coal soon and 5.6 million tons by the end of 2015.

UA energy production decreases while energy consumption rises. The government has created an anti-crisis headquarter in Kiev to work on energy safety for the country.  Saving policy has been introduced to store electricity for the winter. As a result, electricity cut-offs occur from 8 till 10 in the morning and at the same time in the evenings. There is a cut-off schedule in each region of Ukraine, even in the capital of Kiev. Chemical industry plants which are using natural gas for fertilizer production has recently been banned from the further use of gas.
Ukrainians are buying candles, getting plastic windows, pellet and firewood boilers installed and houses are insulated to prepare their homes for the worst scenario.

For the time being, we lack 5 billion cubic meters of gas. Because Russia has stopped gas supply, Ukraine had to turn to Europe to look for reverse gas supplies. Currently we are lucky to have a deal with Slovakia (gas is being pumped into UA gas storages) and Norwegian energy firm, Statoil. Poland and Hungary were also able to sell some of their gas for Ukraine but now, they can do it no more.

Nuclear power stations could be the option for producing electricity to let families warm their houses with the help of electrical devices. However, the issue of nuclear fuel (uranium) is also a challenging one (we used to get it from Russia, but now there is a deal with Sweden to safeguard the future operation of the stations!).
Well, in one way, our government is assuring the nation that we won't freeze. On the other hand, considering the instability in the East of Ukraine and its possible developments, we should be ready for anything. As Ukrainians say, "it's better to be prepared for worst while hoping for the best". It means every family has to think for itself on how to survive through the winter 2014/2015.

Mission Without Borders in Ukraine is also preparing to help the needy families with OWR, Urgent Needs, GIK, etc… In Sarny, we have the Community Center that minister to 40 elderly and lonely people. Last winter we were able to help deliver coal, peat, firewood and warm blankets delivery. This year, we expect all of them to solicit us for heating needs.  

In the meantime, the trilateral gas-related meetings of Ukraine-Russia-Europe to decide gas supply for Ukraine from Russia will be resumed after October the 7th. This process that started on September 26th in Berlin has so far remained at a standstill because of gas prices and alleged UA gas debt arguments. 

Ukraine is now facing one of the worst times in its later history and it's clear that Ukrainians have to tighten their belts and be prepared to live through a very difficult cold period.
Please continue to pray for Ukraine. Thank you.
 
On the photos: Last winter, poor families like the Biguns and many others who thankfully received firewood\peat from MWBU are much expecting our help this year to survive through the cold winter 2014\2015.