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Ukraine’s largest electricity producer says damage after Russian March missile attacks two times higher than after 2022 winter

The DTEK Group says missile attacks destroyed critical equipment at six main thermal power plants, and $230 million will be needed to replace it. The company hopes to repair five of six plants before winter.
DTEK CEO Maxym Tymchenko. Photo by RBC Ukraine.
Ukraine’s largest electricity producer says damage after Russian March missile attacks two times higher than after 2022 winter

The DTEK Group, owned by Ukrainian businessman Rinat Akhmetov, has assessed the cost of restoring thermal power plants damaged by two massive Russian attacks in March at $230 million, according to an interview with DTEK CEO Maxym Tymchenko in Forbes.

“To recover, we need equipment worth $230 million. The largest part of this sum is the purchase of transformers,” said Timchenko.

To compare, the cost of the repair campaign after the previous 2022 winter was $126 million. Russia conducted many more waves of missile strikes than, but they targeted different Ukrainian companies and mainly the power grid rather than production facilities.

With the necessary equipment, DTEK plans to increase its capacity by almost four times before winter compared to the current capacity. Due to the attacks in March 2024, DTEK lost 80% of its generation. The main restoration work will be done in April and May to ensure recovery before the summer peak.

Tymchenko stated that the fastest way to find the required equipment is to import it from Eastern Europe. Decommissioned power plants from the Soviet era are there.

“Our employees have already traveled to the Baltic countries, Bulgaria, and Romania to negotiate such supplies,” he added.

The company is also considering using unused equipment available in Ukraine. Currently, DTEK is in dialogue with “Ukrenergo” and “Centrenergo” companies to explore this option.

Extensive Attacks on Infrastructure

On 22 March 2024, Russia launched a coordinated strike using 151 missiles and drones, targeting critical infrastructure in Ukraine. Ukrainian air defense forces successfully downed 92 of these aerial targets. The attacks caused significant damage to energy facilities, including the Dnipro Hydroelectric Power Plant. The strikes led to power outages and disruptions to water and electricity supplies in multiple cities, including Kharkiv, Dnipro, Poltava, Kryvyi Rih, Zaporizhzhia, Kropyvnytskyi, Khmelnytskyi, Odesa, Lviv.

The city of Kharkiv experienced the hardest hits. The missile barrages inflicted critical damage to all the city’s thermal power plants, causing fires and leaving the city without electricity. 

Ukraine has urgently appealed to NATO allies for greater air defense support to protect its cities and infrastructure from further attacks. The restoration of the damaged energy facilities, particularly the Dnipro Hydroelectric Power Station, is expected to take years​.

Simultaneously with missile attacks against energy infrastructure, Russian forces have intensified the bombardment of Kharkiv and the Kharkiv region in Ukraine’s northeast. On 8 April 2024, the head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration, Oleh Syniehubov, said the authorities are considering ordering a mandatory evacuation from the northern parts of Kharkiv Oblast, which face relentless daily Russian shelling.

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