21 Dec 2022 10:42

Kiev can't expect for now to reinstate scheduled power cuts - prime minister

MOSCOW. Dec 21 (Interfax) - The situation in Ukraine's energy sector is indeed difficult, Prime Minister Denis Shmygal said.

"As of December 20, eight units of nuclear power plants and ten thermal power plants continue to operate in the energy system," Ukrainian media quoted Shmygal as saying at a government meeting on Tuesday.

Considerable power shortages persist in the grid, which has been extensively damaged, he said.

"Eleven regions had to resort to emergency blackouts to maintain the balanced functioning of the energy system," the prime minister said.

General Director of the Yasno power supplier Sergei Kovalenko, for his part, said that around 1.1 million consumers in Kiev had no electricity on Tuesday, adding that the Ukrainian capital cannot currently expect to reinstate scheduled power cuts.

"Unfortunately, the state of Kiev's system remains practically unchanged. Almost the whole city - about 1.1 million consumers - was left without electricity during the day. We even do not hope for now to return to scheduled cuts," Ukrainian media outlets quoted Kovalenko as saying in an overnight social media post.

According to Kovalenko's estimates, less than 50% of Kiev's electricity needs are being met now. He added that this scarce amount is also being used to supply power to critical infrastructure.

Power supply to critical infrastructure facilities remains stable, and most of the city has water and heat, he said.

The power supply situation in Dnepropetrovsk is relatively stable, and the city may return to scheduled power cuts, Kovalenko said.

The power supply situation considerably worsened in Ukraine's central, eastern and Dnieper regions after energy infrastructure facilities were damaged on December 19. Kiev and ten regions had to introduce emergency blackouts. According to data from the Kiev region military administration, 80% of consumers in the Kiev region were without electricity as of Tuesday evening. Power shortages in Kiev stand at over 50%, the Ukrenergo power grid operator said.