6 Feb 2023 13:47

Ukrenergo warns about long periods of power supply limits in Odessa

MOSCOW. Feb 6 (Interfax) - A major breakdown of the Odessa regional power grid caused by the failure of repeatedly repaired equipment is fraught with longer periods of power supply limits in Odessa and nearby districts, the Ukrenergo electricity transmission system operator said in a statement.

"Unfortunately, the breakdown is quite substantial, so power supply limits will stay in effect longer this time. For now, it is impossible to say exactly when the repairs will be finalized," the Ukrainian media said with the reference to an Ukrenergo statement on a social network on Saturday.

The company said it was working on alternate ways of power supply to Odessa and nearby districts.

A repaired transformer broke down at a high-voltage substation supplying electricity to Odessa on Saturday morning.

"There are electricity restrictions in the city and a number of districts adjacent to Odessa, as it is impossible to supply electricity to consumers in full amounts. There are emergency power outages in Odessa. There are no impediments to electricity supply to consumers in the majority of other districts of the region," Ukrenergo said.

Ukrenergo CEO Vladimir Kudritsky noted that critical infrastructure in Odessa had power supply.

"Critical infrastructure of the city, such as water, sewage and heating mains, has been energized," the Ukrainian media quoted Kudritsky as saying at a press briefing at the Odessa media center on Saturday evening.

In his words, Ukrenergo is working together with DTEK Odessa Grids operator, the Energy Ministry, the State Emergency Service and other agencies on the possible reconnection of critical infrastructure to autonomous sources. "That will help us free the capacities for being used by average consumers in the city and the region," he said.

Kudritsky also said they were considering the connection of a 25MW gas turbine station and the use of power-ships to supply Odessa and the region with electricity, but that would take at least several weeks.

"A gas turbine power plant supplied by our Western partners is expected to reach Ukraine in the near future. However, you need to understand that its connection to the power grid and installation will take time. It will be more than a day or two. Perhaps, we are talking weeks necessary to connect this equipment to the power grid," the Ukrainian media quoted Kudritsky as saying.

A 25MW plant is "a serious capacity to be helpful in the future," he said.

As for the ships carrying mobile power plants, Kudritsky said they were discussing points of their connection, including those abroad, so that networks of Ukraine's neighbors could transmit electricity generated by those ships.

"A respective scheme is being considered. But that won't take a day or two either. These are decisions for the medium term, which will help enhance the reliability of power supply in the region," he said.

According to Kudritsky, the existent power supply schemes in the Odessa and the Odessa region meet its demand by only 40-50%, and most of that amount is consumed by critical infrastructure. So, various options are being explored to increase power supply.

"Today's power supply schemes make it possible to power the city and the Odessa region by approximately 40-50%, and there is very little left for ordinary consumers besides critical infrastructure. Therefore, the main goal now is to create at least one more channel for supplying electricity to the city for at least 2/5 or 2/6 schedules, so that each consumer has electricity several times a day," the Ukrainian media quoted Kudritsky as saying at a press briefing at the Odessa media center on Saturday evening.

For now, there are different capacities of power supply in Odessa, adjoining districts and the region as a whole, he said.

"There are no electricity limits in some districts, while Odessa and the Odessa districts have problems caused by equipment breakdowns. That's the situation we will be trying to fix, so that the grid could transmit enough electricity for all residents of Odessa and the region," he said.

In turn, Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko said that a third of consumers in Odessa had been connected to the power grid.

"About a third of consumers already have electricity. The next task is to resume electricity supply to the other households as soon as possible," the Ukrainian media quoted him as saying on a social network on Saturday evening.

All critical infrastructure in the city is energized, he said.

The main hindrance to rapid repairs is the absence of transformers, which have to be supplied from other regions, he said.

Besides, 31 generators are on their way to Odessa, Galushchenko said.

According to the Ukrainian media, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmygal has ordered the establishment of headquarters for assistance to Odessa and the delivery of all heavy-duty generators possessed by the Energy Ministry to the city within a day. A 25MW gas turbine power plant, supplied by the U.S. partners, will also be brought there.

Shmygal tasked the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry with asking Turkey for the provision of power-ships.

On the whole, Ukrenergo stated a decrease in electricity deficit on Saturday due to the lesser consumption, characteristic of weekends, and the increased power generation by thermal power plants.

"A thermal power plant unit is out of maintenance. Transformer equipment repaired by Ukrenergo has helped turn on another power plant unit," the Ukrainian media quoted the company as saying on a social network.

The company added that the available generation was not enough for fully compensating consumption.

"The capacity deficit remains. All regional electricity companies have been informed about consumption limits," Ukrenergo said.