SIMFEROPOL, December 3 /TASS/. All households in Crimea will become warm two days ahead of schedule on December 7 thanks to a newly-launched power bridge, which will deliver electricity from the Krasnodar territory in mainland Russia to the peninsula across the Kerch Strait, Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov told a meeting of the crisis management centre on Thursday.
"We have promised the Crimean inhabitants to resume heat supplies to 100% of households in all cities and populated localities," Aksyonov said.
Alexander Zhdanov, the Crimean minister responsible for housing and utilities, said that heat supplies had been restored to 16 regions out of 19 municipalities, which have central heating. "The number of houses, which have started receiving central heating, has increased from 75% yesterday (Wednesday) evening to 87% on Thursday. It’s a good trend, and we are planning to restore heat supplies to all the households during the weekend," Zhdanov confirmed.
The first thread of the power bridge, which is supposed to make Crimea independent of Ukraine’s energy supplies, went on stream on Wednesday evening in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It will deliver more than 200 MW of energy to the peninsula and will meet slightly less than 25% of Crimea’s needs in electric energy. On the whole, energy generation on the peninsula has increased to 700MW - with the launch of boiler houses, it makes p more than a half from the required amount.
Crimea had faced a serious shortage of electricity since November 22 after bomb blasts had destroyed two pylons in Ukraine. The power lines were crucial for delivering electricity to the peninsula. The situation was complicated after anti-Russian activists, engaged in the so-called blockade of Crimea, prevented repair crews from restoring energy supplies.
Immediately after the blackout, Crimean authorities declared a state of emergency and put in place a power delivery schedule. The regional government said that the attack deprived about 1.9 million people of electricity and that the state of emergency would be lifted only after the energy supply to the peninsula has been fully restored.