(Bloomberg) -- Ukraine’s power grid chief expects already protracted blackouts to expand as the war-hit nation continues to struggle with the shortage of electricity.

Power supplies will become even more scarce for households and companies starting Saturday due to the repair of a nuclear plant unit, Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, the chief executive officer of the power grid operator Ukrenergo, told media outlet Ukrayinska Pravda in a video interview.  

Ukraine’s nuclear power operator is conducting a usual maintenance campaign of plants in summer, a move that slashes power production. It adds to the pressure on the nation’s energy infrastructure, which is severely damaged by Russia’s air-strikes including missiles and drones.

“Unfortunately, next week will be difficult for the energy system as hot weather is forecast, coupled with lower capacity of nuclear power plants compared with this week,” Kudrytskyi said in the interview held on Friday evening.  

He added the prediction from the chief executive officer of Ukraine’s private energy company that electricity supplies will be limited by five to six hours a day in winter is a “pessimistic scenario.”

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said earlier this month that Russia’s attacks had slashed total power production capacity by 9 gigawatts, calling the situation “very difficult.” 

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