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Special commission in Ukraine to probe into causes of accident at powerline to Crimea

December 31, 2015, 14:51 UTC+3 KIEV

On the night to December 31, electric power supply of the Republic of Crimea from Ukraine through the only working power transmission line was again disrupted

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© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

KIEV, December 31. /TASS/. Ukraine has established a special commission that will probe into the causes of a recent emergency at the Kakhovka-Titan power transmission line that supplies electricity to Crimea, the press service of the Kherson regional state administration of Ukraine reported on Thursday.

"A special commission, which investigates the causes of damage to the Kakhovka-Titan power transmission line was established on December 31," the report says. The commission includes representatives of law enforcement agencies and experts of the power utility Ukrenergo and regional power companies.

The press service also said two districts in Ukraine’s Kherson region were temporarily connected to the backup power supply due to the accident. "As a result of the 220 kV Kakhovka-Titan power transmission line disconnection, the Kalanchaksky and Chaplinskiy districts of the Kherson region, which are fed from this line were temporarily connected to backup power supply", the Kherson regional state administration reported.

On the night to December 31, electric power supply of the Republic of Crimea from Ukraine through the only working power transmission line was again disrupted. "The power flow is zero now. We have not received any warning, that's all I can tell," Crimean Minister of Fuel and Energy Svetlana Borodulina said. According to her, this incident will not entail serious consequences for the residents of Crimea. She did not specify the electricity volume that had been supplied from Ukraine. According to official data, the energy flow did not exceed 150 MW, which is about 10% of the peninsula’s demand.

Under the standard scheme, electricity from Ukraine to Crimea had been supplied on four power transmission lines through Ukraine’s Kherson region. However, on November 22 this year, the radicals that have staged a transport blockade of the Crimea, damaged towers of each of the powerlines, causing massive power outage on the peninsula. A state of emergency was introduced in the republic, an energy saving regime was imposed on the peninsula, with many enterprises suspending their activity; rolling blackouts started in all inhabited localities.

More than 1.1 million people remained without electricity in Crimea and Sevastopol. According to Kiev, the blackout was caused by blowing up of towers of the powerline in Ukraine that feeds power to the peninsula. Residents of Crimea went to work on November 24 after an additional day off announced for saving energy in the state of emergency. Rolling blackouts in Crimea continued across the peninsula. The work of social facilities, in particular, schools and universities, depended on the availability of alternative power sources. "Each institution of secondary, vocational and higher education will select the form of educational process organisation based on the situation with power supply in the region and the availability of alternative power sources," the regional Education Ministry said then.

The situation stabilized after the launch on December 2 of the first line of the "energy bridge" from Russia’s southern Krasnodar Territory, which gave the peninsula an additional 250 MW of electric power. The commissioning of the second line of the "energy bridge" on December 15 increased its power to 400 MW. Two more energy bridge lines are to be commissioned in spring, which will make it possible to make Crimea independent of Ukrainian electric energy.

On December 29, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that the issue of electricity supply to Crimea should considered by the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine. The contract on the supply of electricity from Ukraine to the peninsula expires on December 31.

Previously, one of the organizers of the blockade of Crimea Mustafa Dzhemilev said that the extension of the contract on the electric power supply to the peninsula from Ukraine was possible, if Crimea in the documents is named not the Crimean Federal District, but the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

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