Restoration of power supply in fire-ravaged areas promised soon

Electricity supply to a significant proportion of properties damaged by last week’s deadly fires northeast of Athens in the Mati, Rafina and Neos Voutzas areas, is expected to be restored within the next few days, personnel at DEDDIE/HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, have told energypress, without specifying how long it would take for the repair work to be completed.

The death toll has risen to 91 as fire fighters continue their search for missing persons and are set to soon also start investigating the causes of the fires.

An energy ministry official update issued yesterday noted that repair work to 6,200 of 7,600 damaged power lines has been completed. However, electricity supply has yet to be reactivated.

According to data released on Friday, approximately 1,000 properties have been destroyed and ruled uninhabitable, 794 have been classified as salvageable and 1,713 have passed safety checks.

Also, a total of 40 of 51 damaged and destroyed main power utility PPC sub-stations have been repaired, according to the data.

The re-electrification process of properties is expected to be conducted gradually over the next few days. Electricians will first need to deem that system installations are safe to use. Electricity safety certificates need to be issued before connections are reactivated.

The Greek State has taken on the cost of all electrical work required for affected properties, energy minister Giorgos Stathakis informed yesterday. The Greek State has set aside a total of one million euros for electrical repair work. Electricians are expected to begin re-connection work at properties over the next few days. Difficulties that may be encountered remain unknown.

DEDDIE/HEDNO is expected to release an announcement today detailing procedures and a list of authorized electricians commissioned for the re-connection effort.

Individuals have already alleged the fire in the Neos Voutzas area was ignited by a snapped PPC power line. Lack of maintenance of 250,000 kilometers of power lines is believed to be a common cause behind fires in Greece. It remains unclear to what extent the annual grid maintenance budget, worth tens of millions of euros, is actualized.