You can help: Ukrainian officials share critical needs for electric power equipment

News reports since October have been filled with stories and images of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s electric power infrastructure.

Moscow has focused missile and drone attacks on energy facilities and other key infrastructure in an apparent bid to break the will of Ukrainian civilians and force Kyiv to negotiate on Russia’s terms. 

In recent days, Russian forces launched a new barrage of missiles at several cities, Ukrainian officials said, resulting in significant power cuts.

One military analyst was quoted by the Associated Press as saying the strikes on the energy infrastructure are aimed at “inciting social tension and raising pressure in order to push for talks.” Evidence suggests that the attacks have only strengthened Ukraine’s resolve by “causing anger and a desire to take revenge,” the analyst said.

Even so, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said the bombardments have destroyed half of his country’s infrastructure.

In early Deceber, Electricity Canada (EC) met with Ukrainian senior diplomatic and electricity industry officials. Those officials are urgently seeking assistance to source critical equipment. Their current requirements are focused on cobbling together sufficient materials to survive the winter.  

The officials said that previous concerns concerning incompatibility of equipment due to difference in frequency or voltage are no longer an issue.  They are reported to have workarounds, and are prepared, given the urgency, to adapt where required.  

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Ukrainians unpack a power generator before installing it at a bank branch in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Dec. 1, 2022. When Russian forces two months ago launched a military campaign against infrastructure in Ukraine, it opened an urgent second front far from the contact line: along power lines, water mains, and heating systems, and in places like homes, schools, offices and churches. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

As a result, the officials said they will accept 60hz equipment; their most urgent need is for transmission autotransformers. Their voltage classes on the transmission system, and acceptable equipment they can adapt are:

•          220kV, able to adapt 235kV

•          330kV, able to adapt 345kV

•          750kV, able to adapt 735kV or 765kV

The officials said they had an urgent need for 50 such transformers.  So far, globally, they have been able to source just five.

Officials also indicated they are prepared to buy used decommissioned transformers that they will attempt to bring back into service, even if they can only get a few months of service out of them.

Additionally, station and switchyard equipment has been destroyed, creating a need for other current and voltage transformers, circuit breakers, disconnectors, surge arresters and other equipment.  

Altogether, Ukrainian energy officials shared lists that went on for pages that detail their immediate equipment needs. Included is some 60 miles of 6-10 kV power cable, more than 560 tons of steel-aluminum wire, and 60,000 kilograms of transformer oil. The officials also outlined the need for three mobile substations and 30 complete secondary substations.

PowerGrid International and its parent, Clarion Events, are collaborating with the Ukrainian World Congress to publicize this critical need for electric power infrastructure to help the country through this challenging winter.

For more information on equipment and materials needs, contact the Ukrainian World Congress or email David Wagman, vice president of Energy Content at Clarion Events, at david.wagman@clarionevents.com. 


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Author: Jennifer Runyon