Speaking at a press conference on 12 April Maxim Timchenko, the chief executive of Ukraine’s largest energy company DTEK, claimed victory in what he called the “winter battle of our energy war with the Russians”.
Despite relentless missile attacks, Ukraine has kept lights on, resumed exporting power to Europe and restarted work on its first windfarm.
DTEK reports that in the past few months more than 1200 missiles and drones were fired at key energy facilities in Ukraine, more than 250 of them hitting the target; all the country’s thermal and hydroelectric power plants were shelled and suffered various degrees of damage; 43% of power lines have been damaged; and several cities suffered power outages that lasted up to 5 days in a row. The company has suffered damage to 1502 items of power generating equipment and 10 297 items of distribution equipment.
The estimated loss to Ukraine’s energy infrastructure amounts to over $10 billion, the largest proportion falling on the electric power sector – almost $6.5 billion. But the greatest loss, emphasised by Mr Timchenko, is the lives of innocent Ukrainian citizens killed because of missiles falling in residential areas
DTEK reports that 80% of damaged power grids have been repaired, that ‘more than enough’ lighting and heating has been restored. Mr Timchenko also confirmed that by 11 April Ukraine had resumed exporting electricity to the rest of Europe, and that between October and March, DTEK Grids restored electricity to 3.2 million families in the Kyiv, Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk regions.
In Kyiv alone, 198 teams worked daily to bring power back online.
And construction of Ukraine’s first wind farm hs been resumed. The 500 MW Tyligulska windfarm is being built in collaboration with Vestas. Construction started last year, but was forced to stop during the winter. However work recommenced in March with the installation of 19 Vestas 6 MW turbines.