Japan, Ukraine to boost cooperation on energy security

Kyodo

Japan and Ukraine confirmed Tuesday their cooperation on improving the energy situation in the East European country that worsened following the crisis in Ukraine’s Crimea region.

Iindustry minister Toshimitsu Motegi, who is visiting Kiev, and Ukraine’s energy minister, Yuriy Prodan, signed a joint declaration featuring a plan to send Japanese engineers to Ukraine to boost thermal power generation there.

The two countries will compile a report on the situation of aging coal-fired thermal power plants in Ukraine — three-fourths of which are 40 years or older — by next March and propose measures to achieve more efficiency in the facilities’ operations.

A Japanese business delegation, which is accompanying Motegi to Kiev, is expected to attend a seminar on coal-fired power generation in a bid to expand Japanese firms’ infrastructure exports.

Ukraine had relied on Russia for all of its natural gas imports before Moscow halted its supply after the annexation of Crimea in March. Boosting the energy self-sufficiency rate is an urgent task for Kiev.

Motegi will also visit Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, aiming to build closer ties in the energy fields.