Environmentalists against the Tashlyk Hydro Accumulating Power Station
Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych has announced that as early as next year 120 million UAH will be allocated for completing the construction of the Tashlyk Hydro Accumulating Power Station.
This power station has aroused protest from environmentalists for decades.
Environmentalists are concerned that the HAPS will flood the regional landscape park “Granite-Steppe Pobuzhya with its unique wildlife and plants, and the last extant Gard or fortress of the Zaporizhyan Sich.
Government authorities however* maintain that the Tashlyk HAPS will cause no damage to the environment, and that the Pobuzhya region will only benefit with electricity supply being stabilized and the possibility of introducing new technology into agriculture and industry.
The National Nuclear Energy Generating Company Energoatom is to spend 120 million UAH on building a third hydroelectric unit at the Tashlyk HAPS. This was announced by the Prime Minister during a ceremony to launch the second hydroelectric unit in Yuzhnoukrainsk (Mykolaiv region) last week. He stated: “We must not stop with what has already been achieved, and we will definitely allocate 120 million UAH in 2008 to build a third hydroelectric unit. As soon as the equipment is ready, we will build a third hydroelectric unit.”
Scientists and a number of political and civic organizations have labelled the flooding of the territory of the State-owned regional landscape park “Granite-Steppe Pobuzhya” unlawful and downright criminal. Scientists point out that the territory is environmentally unique. In the Mykolaiv region, for example, around the city of Yuzhnoukrainsk, there are over one hundred biological species registered in Ukraines Red Book. Near the riverbed of the Southern Bug River are also the rapids and Gard Island which is closely connected with the history of the Zaporizhyan Sich.
The Head of the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine Serhiy Tarashchuk, himself a biologist, told the BBC that the Prime Ministers decision to accelerate the construction of the Tashlyk HAPS third hydroelectric unit runs counter to numerous court rulings prohibiting the flooding of the Sich.
“Its cowboy stuff! I find it frustrating that our top government officials are being foisted such projects. This one is almost 50 years old. Its a kind of opening to milk the budget. If you look at the record of the organizations who have been building it, theres been restructuring every 2-3 years. Its clear what that means. .. There is already flooding of an area, violation of international commitments over the biosphere under international protection, the flooding of the last surviving Cossack Gard (i.e. the Sich). This is an outrageous failure to comply with the law. If the government doesnt change, there will be even more damage.”
* In fact, this is not quite the case, since the Ministry for Environmental Protection and some other authorities opposed the raising of the water level in the Aleksandrovsky Reservoir (with the ensuring flooding of some of the land) in 2006 and as far back as 1998 imposed conditions which have thus far not been implemented [translator]