Friday, 27 July 2012

Winter Olympics host city struck by power crisis

he host city of the next Winter Olympics, the Black Sea resort town of Sochi has been struck by a power crisis due to infrastructure problems. Local power company Kubanenergo, part of the IDGC holding, has asked local residents to reduce energy consumption and refrain from using electric supplies at their homes. “According to local power engineers, Sochi’s energy network has been worn out by 85 percent,” Sergei Voskresensky, an expert with engineering company 2K, told the newspaper. “The Olympic development has become an additional load on the networks, and power engineers are trying to reduce it by any means.” The peak of power consumption in Sochi has also been registered in the summer, when the temperatures go up and hordes of vacationers come to seaside resort in the foot of the Caucasus Mountains. But this year has seen an increase of 11.6 percent in comparison to the same period in 2011, according to Kubanenergo’s data. The company has asked people staying in the area to not to turn on their air conditioners, electric kettles or washing machines, at least during the daytime. The problem should be solved by the time of the games, if not earlier, representatives of IDGC said. A large-scale reconstruction of the city’s power distribution network is underway, the company said, with two substations built and one more set to become operational by the end of the year. For now, however, the upcoming Olympics is straining supplies due to the increased use of power at construction sites and negligent workers. Workers engaged in ground works often damage underground power cables, which exacerbates other power problems. In the first half of 2012, over 70 such cases have been registered.

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