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Ukraine energy chief says supplies of electricity to Crimea will not resume soon

November 29, 2015, 22:23 UTC+3 KIEV

Russian Energy Ministry Alexander Novak said on Sunday during a trip to Crimea the Energy Ministry had set the date for commissioning of the ‘energy bridge’ for December 20

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KIEV, November 29. /TASS/. Ukrainian state company operating the national power grids, Ukrenergo, will not be able to resume supplies of electric power to Crimea by the power transmission line, the repairs of which it launched urgently on Sunday, the company's chief, Vsevolod Kovalchuk wrote on his page in Facebook.

"One of the conductor cables on an anchor tower has been disassembled and it will remain in disassembly until a separate decision on it is taken," Kovalchuk wrote, adding that all the works would be completed properly.

Until most recently, electric power was supplied to Crimea from Ukraine by four transmission lines but all of them have been damaged by Ukrainian radical who staged what they called ‘a public blockade of Crimea’. On November 22, supplies of electricity to the peninsula were fully stopped.

Repair teams did not get down to work until November 24 when they began to restore one of the four lines. The same line is used to transmit electricity to two districts of Ukraine’s Kherson region.

"Energy Minister Demichishin says agreement with the staff of the public blockade of Crimea has been reached to make possible completion of repair works at the Kakhovskaya-Titan line," Kovalchuk wrote at this page in Facebook. "An emergency team is already on the way to the site and it will finish the assembling of power cables. Actuation of the line hasn’t been discussed yet."

Ukrenergo’s deputy chief Yuri Kasich told Channel 112 on his part the teams of repair workers based in the city of Kakhovka had come to the site of the damaged section of the power line but repairs of the line would take from four to five hours. He also added that he did not have information on when electricity might against start flowing to Crimea.

Initial plans suggested the line was to be ready for electricity transmissions on November 26 but the protesters said they were resuming the blockade of Crimea.

Experts say resumption of power supplies by the Kakhovka-Titan line will unlikely change the situation with current electricity shortages in Crimea since it is a one-end line that brings electricity only to the towns located along the Russian-Ukrainian border.

The Crimean power grids are functioning in a fully autonomous mode now, with generation provided by local thermoelectric plants and diesel generators. To regulate the situation, the authorities have introduced a pattern of rolling outages of electricity.

Crimea’s power grids are expected to gain energy independence from Ukraine within less than a month after a special electricity transmission line - called the ‘power bridge’ or ‘energy bridge’ in Russia is laid down across the seafloor of the Kerch Strait to connect Crimea to the energy system of southern Russian Krasnodar territory.

Officials and power grid executives in Crimea hope the first megawatts of electricity from the continent will reach the peninsula at the end of this month.

Russian Energy Ministry Alexander Novak said on Sunday during a trip to Crimea the Energy Ministry had set the date for commissioning of the ‘energy bridge’ for December 20.

"We proceed from it and are doing everything in our power to launch the power line even earlier (than December 20)," he said. If we manage to do it, we’ll do it.".

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