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Massive Russian attack on the Ukrainian energy system on March 22 caused losses of at least € 90-100 million

The Russian attack on the Ukrainian energy system on Friday was the largest since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. A number of thermal power plants, as well as the Dnipro HPP in Zaporizhzhia, were hit. The Ukrainian energy company DTEK reported losing about half of its generating capacity due to the attack.

The Dnipro HPP in Zaporizhzhia after the Russian missile strike.
Photo: Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine

“According to preliminary estimates, the receipt for damages that will be presented to the enemy for the latest attacks reaches at least €90-100 million if we talk only about the high-voltage equipment of Ukrenergo [Ukrainian national power company (NPC) – ed.]. But we were preparing for it. We were accumulating the reserves of equipment and materials, trained personnel,” commented Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, CEO of the NPC Ukrenergo.

Kudrytskyi also added that the engineering fortifications at Ukrainian energy facilities, arranged with assistance from regional military administrations and the State Agency for Reconstruction, played an important role during enemy air attacks. Without such additional protection of critical infrastructure, the damage could have been twice as significant and the consequences even more severe. Currently, along with the restoration works, the construction of additional engineering fortifications is ongoing.

Smoke and fire are seen around high-voltage lines at the site of a Russian missile strike outside Kharkiv. March 22, 2024.
Photo: Sofiia Gatilova / Reuters

Furthermore, due to the massive Russian attacks on Ukrainian critical facilities on March 22, the Ukrainian energy company DTEK lost about half of its generating capacity. According to Serhii Kovalenko, the CEO of Yasno [supplier of electricity, part of the DTEK Group], Russian troops targeted two parts of the Ukrainian energy system – generating and distribution.

“DTEK Group lost 50% of its generating capacity. We can officially say this information (…) Several types of generating capacity objects were hit, a large number of thermal power plants were hit, and a hydro-generating facility was hit. The second part is that the enemy targeted many network nodes of “Ukrenergo”, transformers, etc… This attack simultaneously destroyed the system’s ability to transmit electricity and weakened our generation capabilities,” noted Kovalenko.

The Dnipro HPP in Zaporizhzhia after the Russian missile strike.
Photo: Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine

According to the CEO of Yasno, by approximate estimates, the restoration of the damaged energy structure “will take months.”

In particular, during the massive Russian air attack, the energy infrastructure in the Kharkiv region was severely affected: the Kharkiv Thermal Power Plant (TPP-5) has lost its main thermal and electrical power generation capacities. Currently, Kharkiv is supplied with electricity from other regions. According to Oleksandr Minkovich, Director of TPP-5, the restoration involves the manufacture of exclusive equipment for power units, such as turbines and generators, and the reconstruction process is expected to “last more than one year”.

On March 22, Russia also hit Ukraine’s biggest hydroelectric power station, the Dnipro HPP, in Zaporizhzhia. As a result, the HPP-2 generating station is in critical condition.

“We already understand that it will take years to rebuild the station as it was before the missile strike. More than six missiles hit the Dnipro HPP: the bridge crossing and the overhead crane beams where the shutters are located were damaged. (…) It will take a lot of money and time to restore the station,” informed Ihor Syrota, General Director of PJSC Ukrhydroenergo, in a comment to Suspilne media. According to him, due to the Russian attack on the power plant, the Ukrainian system lost more than a thousand megawatts of generating capacity, and it is currently unknown when the generation process will be restored.