Moldova and the Dniester River – Dammed by Ukraine

Specifically, at night the hydraulic units pump water from the Dniester into the upper basin, thereby consuming the surplus of cheap electricity from electricity networks. In the morning, during peak hours, the same amount of water can be discharged back into the Dniester through generators, producing electricity.

The Dniester Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Power Plant, one of the most strategic projects of Ukraine. Photo: Ilie Gulca

"Today we have an exceptional event - the launch of the fourth generator of the Dniester PSPP," Shmyhal was quoted by the Ukrinform news agency as telling the gathered dignitaries and reporters.

"This [fourth] unit will ensure the reliable operation of the power system of Ukraine during periods of peak load. Ukrainians will receive reliable electricity supplies and clean energy. Most importantly, PJSC Ukrhydroenergo is tasked with the important social responsibility of the supply of electricity currently used by the population of Ukraine, and this allows us to talk about a cheaper electricity tariff," stressed Shmyhal.

Shmyhal also noted the important role that the plant will have in integrating Ukraine's energy system into Europe's, whose European Network of Transmission System Operators, or ENTSO-E, represents 42 electricity transmission system operators from 35 countries across Europe.

Yet for Ukraine's neighbour Moldova, which lies downstream of the Dniester, the benefits of this power plant and the other constructions that make up the Dniester Hydropower Complex are more elusive. And the attitude of the Ukrainian government towards this key national energy project is often secretive, its actions untransparent and statements misleading.

It's hard to overstate the importance of the Dniester to...

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