Turkish company Karpowership says it is in talks to send floating “electric ships” to Ukraine to supply electricity to the beleaguered country as Russia intensifies its attacks on civilian infrastructure.
The company claims to own the largest fleet of such vessels in the world. A Karpowership executive told Nikkei Asia that the company expects to send vessels to Odessa, Ukraine’s largest port and a city desperately in need of compensation for power losses.
“We are discussing with the Odessa region and the energy company Ukrenergo the placement of three power plants near Odessa with a total capacity of 300 MW,” said Zeynep Kharezy, member of the board of Karpowership for commercial operations.
Once agreements are reached on the technical and commercial aspects, the company wants to define parameters related to the safety of the operations and maintenance groups, as well as the assets themselves. The project will continue if it is possible to agree on all these issues.
Kharezy suggested that the deal may need UN backing:
“I think we’ll need a green light at the United Nations level to implement this on the same terms as in the case of the grain deal.”
The deal, brokered by the UN and Turkey, allowed Ukraine to export grain by sea from the Odessa region without interference from Russia.
Full Stack development
Study on a free schedule to become a versatile specialist with Back-end and Front-end knowledge. Earn $1300 per month
“Depending on the needs and permits, we can complete everything during this year,” Kharezy said. “The ships are ready and put into operation. We can deploy them in just three weeks.”
300 MW, which could be provided by three ships at full capacity, could supply electricity to a million consumers, which would largely cover the consumer electricity supply of Odessa. For comparison: Kyiv consumes 1200 MW in wartime, and with restrictions after the shelling of the power system – 430-690 MW per day; the capacity of the VVER-1000 units of Ukrainian NPPs is 1000 MW, and the first and second units of the RNPP are 400 MW.
Karpowership is the leading company of the Turkish holding Karadeniz. It owns 36 floating power plants with installations that can generate electricity using fuel oil or natural gas. According to Khareza, they can be connected to the Ukrainian power grid in less than 30 days.
Power generating ships are mainly intended for countries with inadequate infrastructure, as well as for emergency use after natural disasters or accidents.
In addition to Ukraine, the company is negotiating the deployment of up to eight ships in four European countries in the winter of 2023 instead of 2022, as originally envisaged. “This winter is now expected to be warm and Europe’s gas reserves are already full, helping to bring electricity prices down from peaks,” she said.
The company is also negotiating electricity supplies to Asian countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Karpowership is already supplying electricity to several islands in Indonesia using natural gas.
In 2019, Karadeniz Holding and Japanese Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) agreed to cooperate in a venture called KARMOL to supply liquefied natural gas for ships. The use of LNG instead of higher emission fuels will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In LNG power generation projects, a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) is connected to power vessels to provide fuel. Individual LNG carriers replenish FSRUs as needed.
Earlier media reported that Russian gas producer Novatek had approached Karpowership to supply electricity for its major Arctic LNG 2 project, in which Japanese Mitsui & Co. and JOGMEC, as well as Chinese companies CNPC and CNOOC, are minority shareholders.
Answering a question about the possibility of cooperation with Russia, Kharezy said that Novatek did ask the company for information on the project, but emphasized: “We are not negotiating with any party for any business in Russia. In line with corporate policy, we are determined to comply with international sanctions.”
As winter approaches and possible future shelling in Ukraine, concerns are growing about the sufficiency of the energy supply. The European Union is also negotiating the supply of equipment and electricity to the country. A Ukrainian source familiar with the negotiations said that the deal with Karpowership is at the stage of commercial negotiations.
On Monday, the Ukrainian embassy in Ankara reported that senior representatives of the Ukrainian and Turkish foreign ministries met and discussed the situation in Ukraine and bilateral cooperation.
Ukraine imported electricity from Romania – in test mode, with a capacity of 1 MW