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"This is a unique challenge"

Sergey Tolstoguzov - about large power plants

"This is a unique challenge"

Sergey Tolstoguzov, General Director of JSC RAO Energy Systems of the East, talks about the priorities facing the main Far Eastern energy holding on the threshold of 2014.

- Sergey Nikolaevich, did the flood complicate the preparation for winter?

- Flood affected only a part of the regions where we are responsible for energy supply. In Kamchatka and Sakhalin, in Central Yakutia and Magadan, in Chukotka and southern Primorye - in all these regions, the repair program was in accordance with the plans. Of course, in the Amur region, the EAO and the Khabarovsk Territory, we had to adjust the timing - we spent a lot of effort in the fight against floods. But today we can confidently say that the holding of RAO ES of the East is ready for the peak of winter loads. We have already started the heating season everywhere, somewhere even before the schedule, to dry the cellars and utility rooms after the descent.

In general, the repair program of RAO ES of the East spent almost 6 billion rubles. Repaired 186 turbo units, 260 boiler units, 15 generators, 132 transformers, 2780 kilometers of electrical and 51 kilometers of heating networks.

- During the flood, there were alarming reports that the coal reserves were washed off in the Amur region. Do you have enough fuel?

- Everywhere in our stations we have regulatory reserves. The situation you are talking about touched some municipal boiler houses in coastal townships.

- And in the north of Yakutia?

- In the north of Yakutia, we are engaged in power supply. The necessary fuel reserves are also provided, problems are not visible.

- The holding of RAO ES of the East today has a very high wear of the main equipment. Are there any risks for the regions in this regard?

- Indeed, the wear level of our main equipment exceeds 70 percent. Within the framework of repair campaigns, we do our best to extend the life of this equipment. But, unfortunately, only new construction can fundamentally change the situation. Now this process has been started, we have started the construction of four stations in different regions.

As for risks, I will cite Sakhalin as an example. The island has long been characterized as a region with a high risk of passing the maximum of energy loads (the Ministry of Energy even has a special term for this - RVR). Thanks to the commissioning of new equipment (the fifth and fourth power units of Yuzhno-Sakhalinskaya CHPP-1, in total almost 230 MW of new generation), we managed to achieve the removal of this regime on Sakhalin. However, the status of the RVR in the current year was first assigned to the Central Energy Area of ​​Yakutia. The second problem region was Primorye again. In both cases, there is a serious shortage of capacity.

In addition, there are risks in the city of Blagoveshchensk - this winter once again Blagoveshchenskaya CHP will work for all 100%, without any reserve. The city is growing, the heat is sorely lacking.

- Regarding the construction of four stations - Sovgavanskaya CHPP, the first stages of Yakutsk SDPP-2 and Sakhalinskaya GRES-2, the second stage of Blagoveshchenskaya CHP. Some experts are concerned that you will not be able to deliver these objects on time.

- Intensive work is now under way on all four sites. The main task that the president and the Russian government set before us, allocating these funds, is to achieve the maximum efficiency of spending money. We constantly report on the implementation of these investment projects - over the past year, prepared project documentation, for three of the four stations it has already passed all the necessary approval in Glavgosexpertiza, two projects have already been approved by independent auditors. Work has begun on two stations, even partially purchased and supplied equipment for the Sovhavan CHP. Until the end of the year, general contractors for all construction projects will be identified.

I must say that the task is unique in many ways. 

First, in the post-Soviet period no one has ever built coal stations in the open field (and Sovgavanskaya CHPP and Sakhalin GRES-2 are just such projects). Especially in the Far East, where the infrastructure is poorly prepared for the implementation of such large-scale construction projects. 

The financial model, which was created to ensure maximum transparency of spending budget funds, is also unique. In addition to the existing mechanisms - I mean coordinating the project with Glavgosexpertiza, carrying out competitive purchases - JSC RusHydro has attracted Sberbank of Russia to monitor the expenditure of funds, including with the involvement of independent expertise.

- Speaking of regions with high risks, you also called the south of the Primorsky Territory. But among the mentioned four projects there is not one in this region.

- OJSC RAO Energy Systems of the East, since last year, has been building EBRD's loan facilities for EBRD loan money, building the Vostochnaya CHPP in Vladivostok. We expect the delivery of this facility in 2015 year.

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