Octopus Energy switches on talks with Ukraine's power company

Any future deal could help rebuild the country's battered power grid using Octopus's Kraken software

Electricity workers fix a damaged power line in Kherson. Ukraine's energy infrastructure has been increasingly struck by Russian missiles and drones since October 2023. Getty Images
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Energy company Octopus is in initial talks with Ukraine's DTEK about how the two could work together to repair the country's battered electricity infrastructure.

Russia's continued attacks on Ukraine's power grid have caused severe shortage problems in many areas.

UK-based Octopus, which is the largest electricity and second-biggest gas provider to British households, teams up with energy companies in 17 countries across the world with its Kraken software.

These include the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, better known Taqa, which recently announced a pilot project to carry out trials the Kraken platform with power and water customers in the UAE.

A representative for Octopus told The National that the company was “in early talks with DTEK to see how we could potentially work together”.

“One option we are exploring is for DTEK to licence our technology platform Kraken, which is now contracted to serve 54 million customer accounts globally.”

Last summer, Russian drone and missile attacks tended to concentrate on Ukrainian ports and export routes, but by October it was hitting energy infrastructure in the run-up to winter.

It was against this backdrop that Octopus chief executive Greg Jackson and Maxim Timchenko, DTEK’s chief executive held initial talks on the sidelines of the recent World Economic Forum in Davos.

Decentralise power generation

DTEK, which is Ukraine's largest private energy company, could strike a deal to use Octopus's specialist Kraken software, which optimises and manages data systems from large power-generating plants to smart-home products.

According to Octopus, Kraken is a “deep-tech platform that underpins the entire energy value chain – from generation to billing – allowing for in-depth analytics, real-time monitoring and optimisation and management of energy devices, such as heat pumps and electric cars”.

As a renewable energy company, Octopus can also offer to help Ukraine to decentralise its power infrastructure away from large coal-fire power stations, which can become easy targets, to a network of smaller solar and wind projects.

DTEK, which has about 3.5 million customers in the Kyiv, Donetsk and Dnipro areas, is no stranger to renewable projects.

Last year, it built a wind farm in southern Ukraine within nine months and has a number of projects planned outside the country, including in Italy and Croatia.

“It’s time for us, for Ukrainian companies, for international companies to rebuild [the] Ukrainian economy,” Mr Timchenko said recently at Davos.

“To rely on ourselves. To build a future for Ukraine.”

Last week, Octopus reported its first profit since launching eight years ago, posting a net profit of £203 million ($258 million) in the year that ended in April 2023, on revenue of £13 billion.

Updated: January 29, 2024, 12:24 PM