New isolated wires designed for all weather problems

Energy workers lay new electric cables able to sustain heavy snows
By Vasily Matvievsky

The Xavier snow storm of this March is already a part of Belarus’ history. Never before has the country experienced such a snow and wind disaster. However, any experience is useful, especially on the eve of the new cold season, and our energy workers have done everything possible to minimise the problems caused by a similar aggressive cyclone.

“This snowstorm troubled the country in March, but even before this, in December 2012, we had already experienced serious problems with power failures in the regions of Gomel and Mogilev. Dozens of towns and villages remained without electricity as a result of strong wind and heavy snow. We held several meetings with the heads of the regional energy systems to define a series of scenarios that would enable us to counteract any climatic accidents,” explains Valery Porshnev, Belenergo’s Deputy Chief Engineer. “Our last experience demonstrated that we only can solve a natural cataclysm by uniting the efforts of all services. The co-ordinated work of local authorities and energy and road workers is actually an efficient ‘recipe’ to counteract snowdrifts and to start up electricity. This year, a new technical method is to be applied — isolated wires designed to lay electric lines in forests. These remain safe even in case of heavy snow, strong winds or fallen branches. Accordingly, electricity failure is less likely.”

Around 11,500 km of Belarusian electricity lines, a large figure, pass through forests. With this in mind, a programme has been adopted to implement a stage-by-stage renewal. So far, 2,000 km, or 18 percent of the total now uses the modern isolated lines. Simultaneously, lanes are being cleared and dead trees are being cut jointly with the Forestry Ministry specialists.

Energy workers are optimistic about the country’s readiness for this autumn-winter season. “This year, we’ve been preparing in a different way as the new rules have been applied. Statements of readiness were received by October 1st (earlier, this was done by October 15th). In addition, these documents were issued only after the decision of the Emergency Ministry’s Department for Supervision of Industrial Safety, to avoid emergency situations,” notes Belenergo’s Head of the State Energy Supervision Department, Dmitry Losenkov. “As a result, our readiness for consumers’ and supplying resources exceeded 99 percent by early October.”
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