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Crimean leader: Emergency regime to be canceled after 4th power linkup stretch test

May 11, 2016, 20:47 UTC+3 FEODOSIA

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday launched the fourth stretch of the power linkup with Crimea during a video conference from the southern Russian resort of Sochi

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© Ruslan Shamukov/TASS

FEODOSIA, May 11. /TASS/. The regime of an emergency situation connected with a power shortage in Crimea will be canceled after the testing of the fourth stretch of the power linkup from Russia’s southern Krasnodar Territory, Crimean leader Sergey Aksyonov told journalists Wednesday.

"We will see until May 15 how the system works and make a decision," Aksyonov said.

The emergency situation regime has been effective in Crimea since November 22, 2015. It was imposed after electric power supplies from Ukraine were stopped.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday launched the fourth stretch of the power linkup with Crimea during a video conference from the southern Russian resort of Sochi.

The opening of the stretch will fully satisfy the region’s electric power requirements.

Prior to giving the start to connection of the fourth stretch, Putin listened to a report by Energy Minister Alexander Novak on the power grid’s readiness.

In late April at a meeting with members of the Council of Legislators under parliament, the Russian president reported that the last stretch of the power linkup with Crimea will be launched in early May. Then the Russian leader explained that there were plans to launch the stretch even earlier, but bad weather prevented the work from being carried out in time.

After Crimea became part of Russia in 2014, it kept importing most part of the electric energy from Ukraine. In late 2015, over 2 million Crimean residents were left without electric power after Ukrainian activists started an energy blockade, blowing up the pylons of all four power transmission lines that supplied the peninsula with electricity.

The incident sped up work to ensure Crimea’s energy independence, which was launched in the summer of 2015.

The project envisions unification of the peninsula with Russia’s unified power grid. It included construction of several power transmission lines that will link the Rostov Nuclear Power Plant with the key regions of Crimea, in particular four lines in Crimea and two power transmission lines in southern Russia’s Rostov Region and Krasnodar Territory.

The overall length of built power transmission lines will total 1,149 kilometers, with the underwater cable duct along the bottom of the Kerch Strait accounting for 54 kilometers (consists of four lines 13.5 km each). The project also stipulates the construction of two power substations in Crimea and reconstruction of another one - on the Taman Peninsula.

The overall cost of the construction totals 47.3 billion rubles ($720 million).

On December 2, 2015, the first stretch of the power linkup with Crimea from the Krasnodar Territory was launched, which made it possible to supply up to 200 megawatts a day to the peninsula. The second stretch was commissioned December 15 and the throughput capacity of the "energy bridge" doubled.

Besides, the construction of the Kafa substation (220 kilowatts) and 122 kilometers of power transmission lines from the cable duct to the substation was completed as of that moment.

On April 14, 2016, the third stretch of the power linkup was started, which increased power exchange from Russia’s unified power grid to Crimea by another 200 megawatts.

The fourth stretch of the same power will ensure power exchange capabilities up to 800 MW overall from the Russian power grid, which will fully supply the needs of Crimea, including in the summer period, and even will create reserves to stop using the existing mobile gas-turbine power stations.

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