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Naftogaz reinforces protection of ground facilities from Russian shelling - Chernyshov

At the same time, the Naftogaz CEO does not rule out that massive strikes could lead to blackouts, as it happened last winter. 

Naftogaz has strengthened the security of its ground facilities from enemy shelling. Basic protection involves the use of concrete slabs, big bags, gabions and other items. Comprehensive protection includes anti-drone and jamming equipment. Oleksiy Chernyshov, Chairman of the Board of Naftogaz of Ukraine, told in an interview.

"The aggressor is massively shelling our energy infrastructure. It is clear as the heating season approaches, such attacks are more likely to intensify. These can be various facilities: electricity, gas, oil and processing facilities. We see it, we feel it. This is not a matter of the future, it is a matter of the present. As for our subways and underground storage facilities, they are probably the most protected enterprises in Ukraine. At least because they are physically located at a depth of up to 3,000 meters. So the underground infrastructure is quite securely hidden," he said.

According to Chernyshov, questions may arise to the above-ground infrastructure and gas distribution.

"Naftogaz is actively working on basic protection, the so-called passive protection. It is taking a set of measures to protect ground infrastructure facilities. Of course, air defence is important in this. Our defence capabilities, as we see, are constantly growing... Basic [defence] involves the use of protective structures. For example, concrete slabs, big bags, gabions, and other things. Complex [defence] involves anti-drone and jamming equipment. In addition, there is interaction with the Armed Forces and the National Guard where possible. There are also other things that I can't talk about in public," he emphasised.

At the same time, the head of Naftogaz does not rule out that massive strikes could lead to blackouts, as happened repeatedly last winter.

"Naftogaz Group employees have been constantly working to eliminate the consequences of shelling in the regions. Imagine, last winter, Naftogaz Group supplied natural gas to more than 200,000 customers in Donetsk Region. Constantly, repairing the networks. It is clear that we are ready for such situations this winter. At the same time, the integration of regional gas companies is important. This process is almost complete: tens of thousands of specialists have joined and will ensure the stability and reliability of gas distribution in all regions," he assured.

Chernyshov emphasised the importance of integrating regional gas companies into Naftogaz Group.

"We have already integrated 16 of them, which is the majority of natural gas volume and distribution in Ukraine, i.e. these are the largest regional gas companies. We will complete the process by the end of the year. This will actually allow us to ensure high-quality natural gas distribution and identify weaknesses. It will ensure the stability of supply right now, this winter," added the Naftogaz CEO. 

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