Ukraine plans record power imports after Russian attacks on energy system

By Thomson Reuters May 15, 2024 | 3:13 AM

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KYIV (Reuters) – Ukraine plans record high electricity imports on Wednesday after significant energy infrastructure damage from recent Russian strikes on its energy system, the energy ministry said, warning that there could still be shortages in the evening.

Imports are expected to rise to 23,692 megawatt hours (Mwh) on Wednesday, versus the previous high of 21,072 Mwh on Tuesday and 19,484 Mwh on Monday.

“Today, emergency electricity supplies from Poland, Romania and Slovakia have already been made at Ukraine’s request. Emergency assistance is also expected to be provided during the day,” the ministry said in a statement.

“In the evening, there may also be power shortages.”

Russian missile and drone attacks on Ukraine’s energy sector have intensified since March, dealing significant damage and causing blackouts in many regions.

The attacks have caused more than $1 billion of damage to the sector, said Ukrainian energy minister German Galushchenko, and led to the loss of 8,000 Mwh of generating capacity from the energy system.

Ukraine consumes up to 19,000 Mwh at peak of consumption in winter.

Ukraine’s largest private energy company DTEK said this week it lost about 90% of its power generation capacity due to Russian missile attacks in recent weeks.

The ministry asked residents and industries to reduce power consumption.

“Industrial consumers are asked to review their production processes to reduce the load on the power system, as well as to use imports as much as possible to ensure that outages are avoided and the power system is more resilient,” the ministry said.

Ukrainian power grid operator Ukrenergo imposed emergency power cuts this morning but then cancelled restrictions.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Bernadette Baum)