18:20 02.12.2014

Rolling electricity blackouts in Ukraine

The national energy company Ukrenergo responsible for centralized electricity distribution, has been using rolling blackouts for a second day in a row due to a shortage of generating capacities.

"Ukrenergo enforced a 2,800 megawatt rolling blackout plan, the size of the electricity shortage experienced by the Unified Energy System of Ukraine," the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

The emergency is due to a misbalance between energy production and consumption, the company said. Rolling blackouts help prevent the strain on hydropower plants and water reservoirs, and comply with the agreed schedule of electricity flows between the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Baltic states, it said.

The misbalance formed up when 1,000 megawatt Power Generating Unit No. 3 of Zaporizhia nuclear power plant and 19 energy generating facilities at thermal power plants were shut down for emergency repairs, and due to a small reserve of coal at thermal power plants and hydro-resources, and an increased consumption in the current spell of chilly weather, Ukrenergo said.

"Another reason for the rolling blackouts is the energy saving companies' failure to abide by the set limits," the company said.

According to Ukrenergo's most recent report, energy consumption by the Unified Energy System of Ukraine amounted to 25,826 megawatts on November 24 when the temperatures dropped to minus 2.9 degrees. Night temperatures fell to minus ten degrees in Ukraine this week, rising to minus six in the daytime, but further cooling is likely in the coming days.

Energy Generating Unit No. 3 of Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is expected to be re-launched on December 5

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