* Supplies already stretched after 2011 disaster
* Power unit stopped functioning overnight
NICOSIA, April 4 Power started to return to
Cyprus on Wednesday after a major outage left 80 percent of the
island without electricity, highlighting an energy shortage
caused by a blast that crippled its main generating facility in
Authorities said a unit at Dhekelia power station stopped
functioning overnight, triggering breakdowns throughout the
system. By mid-morning, power was gradually starting to return
to most areas.
"We have restored supply," a spokesman for the
state-controlled Cyprus Electricity Authority said.
"The generating capacity was there, but there was a problem
of getting it onto the grid," he said.
Cyprus's electricity resources are already stretched after
its main power generating facility at Vassilikos was almost
totally destroyed in an accidental explosion in 2011.
The disaster forced authorities to put ageing stations back
online and to get supplies from a breakaway Turkish Cypriot
state, which lies north of a ceasefire line dividing the
The island's transmissions systems operator reported power
generation fell by more than half overnight to 123 megawatts
(MW) of electricity, but supplies on the grid started building
up by mid-morning as more sources came online.
It was unclear what caused the fault at Dhekelia, which
operates on six 60-MW steam units and two 50-MW internal
combustion units. It also has capacity from the Moni power
station with six 30-MW steam units and four 38-MW steam units.
Cyprus lost more than 700 MW of its production capacity when
Vassilikos, which supplied more than 50 percent of the island's
needs, was destroyed.
Some 165 MW in mobile generator production capacity will be
supplemented by another 120 MW to cope with increased demand
over Cyprus's hot summer months.
(Reporting By Michele Kambas; Editing by Erica Billingham and