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Ukraine's energy operator readies for worst-case scenario next winter

by Martin Fornusek July 27, 2023 6:46 PM 2 min read
An electrician repairs cables after Russian shelling to provide electricity to the residents of Shevchenkove, Mykolaiv Oblast. (Photo credit: Oleksandr Gimanov)
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Ukraine's state energy operator Ukrenergo is preparing for the worst-case scenario next winter but is confident that the country's main energy network will be able to function without restrictions, head of Ukrenergo Volodymyr Kudrytskyi said in Kharkiv on July 27, Ukrainska Pravda reported.

"We must be prepared for the worst-case scenario, which includes repeated missile and drone attacks on energy infrastructure," Kudrytskyi said.

"We at Ukrenergo are absolutely certain that our main network will be ready to function without restrictions during the heating season," he added.

According to Kudrytskyi, the information about the state of the power system will not be made public, as the information is sensitive. "We don't want to help the enemy understand the power system in detail," he said.

While it cannot be said with certainty whether the country will experience blackouts next winter, Ukrenergo is already preparing for energy consumption peaks, Kudrytskyi said.

The company's goal is that disconnection of any part of the network will not affect consumers. Ukrenergo also plans to improve its response to emergency situations, building on the experience of the last winter, the chairman commented.

Kudrytskyi said that Ukraine needs to build additional transformers, power units, and power transmission lines in case some of the existing ones are damaged in an attack, but did not comment on whether any steps have already been taken to build new energy infrastructure.

Plans to create additional capacity are "realistic" in Kharkiv Oblast, where three-quarters of important energy facilities were damaged last winter, he added.

Russian forces attempted to cripple Ukraine's energy network with massive strikes during the fall of 2022 and winter of 2023, leading to frequent blackouts across the country.

Six months of sustained missile and drone attacks by Russia significantly weakened the energy system, damaging 43% of the main network, Ukrenergo said.

Ukrainian energy company on Russia’s attacks on infrastructure: ‘No system in the world has faced the same’
Ukraine faces its most challenging winter as Russia relentlessly strikes its energy system to plunge the nation into cold and darkness. Since mid-October, Russia’s carried out five mass missile attacks that have damaged 40% of Ukraine’s energy system and made long power outages a new reality for ma…
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