As a general rule, planned maintenance works are a coordinated activity which is organized between TSOs under the valid Interconnection Agreement in a year preceding the year of such maintenance works with the aim to minimize flow interruptions. However, we were only informed of the Ukrainian intentions c. two weeks ago. Announcement of the maintenance on shorter notice is only acceptable in the case of exceptional events, which seems not to be the case (otherwise Ukrainian TSO would start immediately instead of postponing the start for two months - coinciding with the expiry date of the capacity bookings currently in place on the Ukrainian side).
Given that the works have not been duly announced and are expected to cause unprecedented duration of full flow interruption, which we have not witnessed in the past 50 years of our operation, we have intensively tried to understand the nature of such maintenance works.
Based on our communication with the Ukrainian TSO, the maintenance involves inspection of pipeline. Such maintenance is preventive in nature and we have expressed our concerns about the communicated urgency, duration and scope of interruption. We believe there are technologies available, allowing such maintenance works to be performed by modern, non-invasive methods without interruption necessity. In this regard, we offered Ukrainian side with our technical expertise and knowledge.
We consider the current situation as unfortunate and hope that a maintenance solution utilizing modern methods that would not require flow interruption is identified and implemented.
At the same time, Eustream feels obliged to confirm that capacity on its side will be fully available (except as previously announced in our annual maintenance scheduled; between 2-22 September, when exit capacity on Slovak side will be limited to 27 mcm/d) in spite of a potential interruption related solely to the activities of the Ukrainian TSO. We have already substantiated to the Ukrainian TSO that the measures proposed (VIP/switching of contracts) are not feasible as a solution.
Eustream will also consider offering additional capacity at the Exit point Veľké Kapušany, however, we highlight the fact that if such capacity is booked it will be connected with a higher risk of interruption than the capacity which has been offered previously.