Abkhazia: power outages and lack of trust in authorities
The power is off in Abkhazia again. Despite the fact that the accidents on high voltage lines have been eliminated, rolling blackouts continue. People are more and more doubting of the official explanations given by the power engineers. Due to repairs at the main hydroelectric power station in Abkhazia, electricity still comes from Russia – but in limited quantities.
For the second week in a row, a tough schedule of power outages has been in effect in Abkhazia. The electricity goes off once every three hours for an hour. The population is in a difficult situation, as there is no natural gas in the houses, and one rarely has a spare bottle of liquefied gas. Thus, the entire life of the local population depends on electricity.
The power outage schedule was officially introduced on April 6 due to an accident on the Gyachrypsh and Kavkasioni high-voltage lines. However, even after the damage was eliminated, power outages throughout Abkhazia continued, causing a lot of dissatisfaction with the Chernomorenergo energy company.
- Why Abkhazia has become a ‘cryptocurrency paradise’
- How to live when the power’s out. Stories from Abkhazia
- Op-Ed: Abkhazia without electricity and business above all
Many citizens do not trust power engineers and believe that the real reason for rolling blackouts has nothing to do with damage on one of the high-voltage lines.
As a result of an accident on high-voltage lines in the power system of Abkhazia, a power deficit of about 100 MW was formed. This information was published on the official website of Chernomorenergo, and the company’s management immediately decided to impose restrictions on the supply of electricity throughout the republic.
Despite the fact that the residents of Abkhazia are quite familiar with power outages, many of them still express their dissatisfaction with the ongoing situation quite harshly on social media. Some believe that the management of the energy sector “is lying once again”, others that the reason for the outages is a large number of cryptocurrency mining farms which leads to a shortage of electricity.
After stating that the damage of the high-voltage line has successfully been removed, Chernomorenergo immediately reported that starting from April 8, Russia introduced a limit to the amount the electricity supplied to Abkhazia of 7 million kW. per day. Meanwhile, the uninterrupted supply of electricity to Abkhazia requires a minimum of 9.6 million kW.
At present, Abkhazia is supplied with electricity from Russia, since the only other source of electricity in Abkhazia, the Ingur hydroelectric power plant has been shut down for repairs.
Social media reaction
“Of course we don’t believe Chernomorenergo, an accident, then a cat in a transformer … Today we sat without light for almost 5 hours, again because of the cat, apparently”, says a resident of Sukhum Elena Buyakova.
“Our power engineers remind me of Russian footballers. They invest in it all the time, but there are no results”, Lolla Ratia writes.
All official reports of power engineers raise more questions than they give answers. For example, was the limit of 7 million kW only introduced by Russia on April 8, or was it always there but Abkhazia never went beyond it before? If so, what is the reason behind the sharp increase in electricity consumption? And most importantly, how long will the rolling blackouts last?
While discussions on the Internet continue, the question of lifting the restrictions remains open, and it is not yet clear why electricity shortages are still happening despite rolling blackouts and despite more active shutdowns of illegal crypto farms.
Lawsuit against power engineers
On the evening of April 11, it became known that the Society for the Protection of Consumer Rights of Abkhazia was preparing a lawsuit against Chernomorenergo. The head of the Society, Elena Gvaramia, in an interview with the RESPUBLICA telegram channel, said that due to constant power outages, equipment in homes and enterprises becomes unusable, and consumers intend to demand compensation from the state company.
“The first category of applicants is ordinary citizens whose household appliances deteriorate: microwave ovens, washing machines, refrigerators. It is a problem for many families to buy new equipment, some have to save up for a new refrigerator for several months. With our low salaries and pensions, even replacing burned-out light bulbs is costly.
The second category of people who turn to us are individual entrepreneurs, market workers in particular. The situation is bad there, some people have large refrigerating chambers for deep freezing of products that have become unusable. Renovation costs a lot of money. Who should be responsible for this? Indeed, in such cases, the guarantee will not work”, says Gvaramia.
Terms, place names, opinions and ideas suggested by the author of the publication are her / his own and do not necessarily coincide with the opinions and ideas of JAMnews or its individual employees. JAMnews reserves the right to remove comments on posts that are deemed offensive, threatening, violent or otherwise ethically unacceptable.