European companies asked to urgently donate spare parts to repair Ukraine's power grid

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By Euronews  with AP
Emergency repair teams have been working overtime to try and repair Ukraine's battered grid
Emergency repair teams have been working overtime to try and repair Ukraine's battered grid   -   Copyright  SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP

European companies are being asked to urgently donate surplus parts to help Ukraine. 

Although emergency teams have been working overtime to restore water and heat, there is a massive shortage of spare parts necessary to repair its battered grid. 

"There is a different part of the equipment that is needed, but it is hard to find on the European market due to the differences in the technical standards and voltage levels between Ukraine and the EU," explained Artur Lorkowski, Director of the Energy Community Secretariat. 

Ukraine imports electricity from the EU via interconnected grids. But due to different voltage levels, the transmission needs large power transformers to be located at the border. 

It's these transformers that have been targeted by Russian strikes and will need at least six months to be manufactured and delivered. 

Fund set up

A fund has been set up in order to facilitate donations from firms "to contribute financially to the process of procurement of such items on the European market so that these specific parts could be produced by European companies," said Artur Lorkowski. 

To this date, approximately €32 million have been pledged to the Fund.

35 shipments have been organised by the Energy Community, a European trade body. But it's still unclear if enough spare parts will be available to help the country get through winter.

This comes as snow and freezing temperatures start to set in, spurring fears of a health crisis and mass exodus. 

The World Health Organisation has warned of "life-threatening" consequences and estimated that millions could leave their homes as a result.

Energy power plants are in desperate need of aid from abroad as Russia carries out massive attacks on the country's infrastructure since October, plunging millions of civilians into the dark.

The attacks are Russia's latest strategy designed to force Ukrainian capitulation after Moscow's forces failed to topple the government and capture Kyiv nine months after launching their invasion.