Kateryna Kutsenko: “I could not leave my team and my city.”

July 9, 2024

Kateryna Kutsenko, Deputy Director for Economic Affairs at Mykolaivoblteploenergo

On 12 April 2022, Russian forces struck the Dnipro-Mykolaiv water supply network, thus leaving the city of Mykolaiv without water for the first time. The invaders deliberately destroyed the pipes providing water to the city as they advanced. Since then, the people of Mykolaiv have had no fresh tap water. The local utility company Mykolaivoblteploenergo is doing its best to resolve the problem, at least partially.  

The utility operates 80 reverse osmosis stations that treat up to 10 million liters of water every month. Additionally, the company provides heating to 70 percent of the city, supplies process water to multistory buildings, and provides mobile communication to the whole city through the mobile stations at the company’s facilities. 

Kateryna Kutsenko, Deputy Director for Economic Affairs at Mykolaivoblteploenergo, ensures that the company functions smoothly. She oversees all company services and units. 

Kateryna has remained at her post throughout the full-scale invasion, including when Russian forces were advancing upon Mykolaiv “I took my daughter to her grandma’s and came back. I could not leave my team and my city,” she recalls. 

Massive Russian strikes badly damaged the city’s heating networks and communication lines. The USAID Energy Security Project (USAID ESP) provided the Mykolaivoblteploenergo with special equipment, pipes, and valves to support repairs and protective constructions. 

USAID ESP is also supporting the company’s strategy to install autonomous energy sources to supply power and heat to the city’s critical infrastructure. “Thanks to the Project, we have three cogeneration units already,” Kateryna says. She coordinates this cooperation with the ESP. 

Kateryna is keen to involve young, qualified professionals: “In cooperation with the Mykolaiv National Agrarian University, we encourage students to choose a career in the energy sector. We run lectures and practical classes at the company’s facilities. We hire students under our dual education program to support their classroom studies with practical experience.” 

She dreams of a fully recovered and thriving Mykolaiv and Ukraine. After victory, she plans to travel across the country with her daughter. “Every corner of Ukraine is unique. We want to explore all of them!” Kateryna explains. 

Background:  

Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), through its Energy Security Project (ESP), has provided a local heat supply company with a truck-mounted crane, excavator, emergency vehicle, backhoe loader, 3 modular boiler units, 3 cogeneration units, 3 generators, over 23 kilometers of steel pipes, and over 400 ball flange valves.