Authorities in Moscow plan to sue UES for damages following last week’s power cut that affected much of the city and surrounding areas.

City authorities are assessing the damage caused by the power cut which included leaving some 30,000 people trapped in underground metro coaches or in commuter trains.

Blame for the outage is being placed squarely on UES, with critics saying that poor management at the Mosenergo power utility is responsible.

Despite the criticism, Anatoly Chubais, chief executive of UES, has rejected calls for his resignation.

Meanwhile, Mosenergo executives are not ruling out restrictions on power consumption while rehabilitation of the energy system in the city and region, which may take up to 36 months, is carried out.

“We have no practical projects for rehabilitation at the moment, and the drafting of a project alone will take ten to eighteen months,” Vadim Zinakov, the deputy chief engineer of Mosenergo is reported to have said with construction expected to take a similar period.

Repairs to the Chagino substation, which was the site of a fire that precipitated the blackout, are underway but Mosenergo is using transformers made in 1988 that have been repaired and upgraded.

Costs of repairing the substation are estimated at rbl 4 – 5 million (€112 – €139,000).