Electricity distribution company CEZ Bulgaria said on August 26 that ongoing work on a new 110kV line in Sofia could lead to temporary disruptions of service in eight districts of the Bulgarian capital city.
CEZ, which owns the electricity distribution service in western Bulgaria, including Sofia, said that it would spend eight million leva in investment to lay the new cable and upgrade the Sredets and Hippodruma substations. Work was progressing according to schedule, in shifts, so as to minimise the possible disruptions, company officials told reporters on August 26.
The eight districts that could be affected by service disruption are: Krasna Polyana, Triaditsa, Sredets, Lozenets, Vitosha, Ilinden, Vuzrazhdane, Serdika and Krasno Selo.
The new line is the largest-scale power grid modernisation project in the city in the past 30 years, marking the first step towards the complete overhaul of the city’s electricity infrastructure, the company said.
Earlier this month, a suspected substation failure triggered a chain reaction that left an estimated 93 000 customers in neighbourhoods in the central and western part of the city without power.
The power supply was restored by mid-afternoon, but the blackout created a major traffic disruption – dozens of trams and trolley buses had been stranded, and the power failure also took out traffic lights.
CEZ did not say if the incident was in any way linked to the new power line (construction reportedly started on August 15, three days after the blackout), but there was significant overlap in the areas affected by the black-out and those that could be affected by service disruptions in the upcoming month.