Slovakia faces blackout threat due to halted gas supplies

Slovakia is facing the danger of a blackout due to the halt in supplies of natural gas from Russia via Ukraine, according to the economy minister.

Slovakia is facing the danger of a blackout due to the halt in supplies of natural gas from Russia via Ukraine, according to the economy minister.

"In connection with the halted supplies of gas, Slovakia has another problem,” said Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek at a news conference after a January 7 meeting of the crisis-management group. “Power generators that should secure support services for the electric power transmission network mostly use natural gas but are subject to consumption regulations announced by the gas utility Slovenský Plynárenský Priemysel (SPP). Thus, a disadvantageous situation arises in which on the one hand we have to preserve a sufficient volume of gas in the distribution network and on the other hand, unless we secure support services for the electric power network by these generators, a blackout may follow. That would be a worse situation than we have now in relation to gas supplies," Jahnátek added.

Gas supplies to households and hospitals have not yet been affected by the interrupted gas supplies from Russia to Slovakia which cross Ukraine. SPP closed pipelines at the borders to preserve operating pressure and enable continued gas distribution from storage reservoirs. Jahnátek added that using this approach, SPP will able to distribute gas to households for approximately 70 to 80 days. The economy minister however added that in order to preserve this supply, it will be necessary to maintain the regime of limited consumption by industrial producers.

Supplies of natural gas from Russia to Slovakia were halted on Tuesday night (January 6). The cut-off was a consequence of long-lasting pricing dispute between Kiev and Moscow. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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