Ukraine’s largest private energy producer has braced itself for more drone, missile and artillery attacks by the Russian military. DTEK, which generates around a quarter of Ukraine’s electricity and runs 40% of its grid network, has spent the past 7 months restoring infrastructure, boosting output and preparing defences.

DTEK is also adding its voice to urgent calls for further air-defence systems for the country amid growing military intelligence assessments that Russia, which started its attacks on 10 October last year and carried them through until early March 2023, is stockpiling missiles and drones to renew its strikes at power stations, sub-stations and grid installations.

DTEL’s work includes restoring power supply to 8.9 million households, spending $107 million to repair and restore thermal power plants, carrying out repairs on 16 power units (turbine plus transformer) which have already been completed, and the reconnection of two moth-balled power units to provide an extra 500 MW of capacity, safeguarding winter fuel supplies by doubling coal investments to $200 million and importing 210 000 tonnes of fuel, installing additional defensive structures at every power plant, buying and pre-positioning $36 million-worth of critical equipment including the purchase of 224 back-up generators, and accelerating the development of low-carbon generation such as Tyligulska wind farm. Despite its location 60 miles from the frontline, its 19 Vestas turbines dispersed over a wide area make it harder for the enemy to hit and therefore create a more resilient source of power. DTEK is seeking funding to complete the construction of Tyligulska 2: adding a further 64 turbines to raise the windfarm’s capacity to 500 MW.

DTEK CEO Maxim Timchenko said: "Last winter, determination carried us through. This winter we are stronger and our people are more experienced. We have invested record sums to prepare for the challenge ahead. We have restored what could be restored, bought back-up equipment and installed defences around power plants.”