Ukrainian coal thermal power plants pollute the air more than the entire European energy sector

The dirtiest power plant in Europe is Ukrainian oligarph Akhmetov’s Burshtynska coal thermal power plant.

Ukraine emits more toxic dust containing heavy metals than all EU countries, Turkey and the Western Balkans combined.

This is reported by BusinessCensor referring to the report of the public organization Ekodia with reference to a new study of the independent climate and energy policy think tank EMBER.

It is noted that Ukraine produces 72% of all fly ash emissions in Europe, 27% of sulfur dioxide and 16% of nitrogen oxides.

Ukraine owns 8 out of the top 10 power plants with the highest fly ash emissions (PM10). These include Kurakhivska, Burshtynska, Trypilska, Luhanska, Zmiivska, Vuhlehirska, Slovyanska and Ladyzhynska TPPs. All of them were put into operation in the 60-70s of the last century.

The top 30 for these emissions include 18 Ukrainian TPPs. It is also noted that PM10 micro-dust particles in polluted air are responsible for about 80% of premature deaths related to emissions from coal-fired power plants in Europe. 

Burshtynska TPP ranks 1st for sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions in Europe. It is also the oldest TPP among the top ten contaminators – it was put into operation in 1964. Ukraine owns 12 out of 30 largest sources of emissions of this toxic substance. 

Regarding nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions, Zaporizka TPP ranks 2nd among the major contaminators. Other Ukrainian TPPs are second only to the largest power plants in Europe (Germany, Poland and Serbia). However, 9 out of top 30 contaminators also belong to Ukraine. 

According to the research, since Ukraine joined the Energy Community Treaty in 2011, none of the Ukrainian TPPs have been brought into compliance with the requirements of the EU Emissions Directive.

According to the Energy Community Secretariat, Ukraine’s coal energy sector received the largest amount of state subsidies in the entire region – € 751 million in 2018-2019. 

The dominant position in the thermal energy generation market belongs to Rinat Akhmetov’s DTEK company. He owns 9 out of 15 Ukrainian thermal power plants, 17 mines, coal preparation complexes, as well as metallurgical and coke-chemical enterprises which are no less polluting. They are integrated in the Metinvestholding.

The US Environmental Protection Agency notes that fine fly ash in the form of PM2.5 microparticles can enter the bloodstream, damage the lungs and heart, cause stroke and lead to premature death. Sulfur dioxide in high concentrations can cause life-threatening fluid buildup in the lungs, and even a single exposure to high concentrations can cause chronic diseases such as asthma. Emissions of nitrogen oxides cause inflammation of the respiratory tract and disrupt normal cellular mechanisms, damage tissues, and reduce the human immune system. Emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides also lead to acid rains which damage forests and other ecosystems. When fly ash is eventually deposited on soil, it contaminates it with toxic heavy metals. According to the results of a multi-year research published in 2011, the total environmental losses from coal energy in the United States were estimated at $ 175 to 523 billion per year. 

9 out of 20 dirtiest thermal energy enterprises in Ukraine belong to Rinat Akhmetov’s DTEK; three TPPs of the state-owned Centrenergo have been controlled by Ihor Kolomoisky until recently; 1 TPP belongs to Maksym Yefimov (Kramatorsk deputy from “Doveriye” group), and dirty CHPs – to ex-People’s Deputy Anatoliy Shkriblyak. All private TPPs and CHPs operating in Ukraine are registered with offshore companies and leave their profits abroad.


Source: business.censor


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