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Ukraine hikes electricity tariffs to fund power sector repairs

The country has reportedly lost up to 90% of its thermal power plant capacity due to Russian strikes on its energy infrastructure

The Ukrainian government has raised consumer electricity tariffs by 60% to help fund repairs on the country’s power infrastructure following Russian air strikes, the national power grid operator Ukrenergo announced on Saturday on its official Telegram channel.

Moscow began targeting Ukrainian energy infrastructure in the fall of 2022, following the bombing of Russia’s Crimean Bridge. It has intensified the attacks over the past several months, with the Russian Defense Ministry citing Kiev’s attempts to target Russian oil depots and refineries as the reason.

According to Ukrenergo, the decision to hike prices was approved by Ukraine’s cabinet of ministers. Authorities have set a single fixed price for individual and collective consumers at 4.32 hryvnias ($0.107) per kilowatt-hour, up from the previous tariff of 2.64 hryvnias. The tariff will be in force until April 30, 2025. According to official estimates, following the tariff hike, the average consumer will have to pay about 285 hryvnias ($7) more on their monthly power bill.

Commenting on the hike, Ukrainian Energy Minister German Glushchenko said the measure was “difficult but necessary.”

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Ukraine has lost 90% of energy capacity – ex-minister 

“The goal is to keep the power on, to keep the system running. We are in for a large-scale reconstruction, which requires huge efforts and funds. We have launched repairs at power generation, distribution and transmission facilities [but] we anticipate that attacks on energy infrastructure will continue, and we must use all possible resources,” he said in a statement on Friday.

The minister added that the previous tariff level covered only a third of the real cost of electricity, and the government could not afford to keep it given the scale of the damage to energy infrastructure. Households unable to pay the new price will still be offered subsidies from the state, he said.

Galushchenko previously estimated the combined financial losses from Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure at more than $1 billion. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said last month that Russian strikes had damaged half of the country’s power grid, while the country’s former minister of infrastructure, Aleksey Kucherenko, put the figure even higher, stating in late May that about 90% of power generation capacity had been taken out.

READ MORE: New wave of Russian strikes reported across Ukraine

Russia’s latest large-scale missile and drone barrage on Ukraine’s energy facilities came early on Saturday, with Ukrenergo claiming that power infrastructure was damaged in five regions across the country. The Russian Defense Ministry later confirmed the strikes. Moscow has repeatedly stressed that its attacks are only aimed at Ukrainian facilities that support military operations and not at the civilian population.

June 01, 2024 at 06:07PM

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