Irkutsk
Ulan-Ude

Blagoveshchensk
Chita
Yakutsk

Birobidzhan
Vladivostok
Khabarovsk

Magadan
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

Anadyr
Petropavlovsk-
Kamchatsky
Moscow

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Nano against Hydro

Who quarreled: Markin with Chubais or still two state corporations

Holding "RusHydro" officially refused to attract a major partner in the development of the Far East. A few days ago, a new official representative of RusHydro, Vladimir Markin, in response to an interview with the head of RUSNANO, Anatoly Chubais, stated that the companies would not conduct any joint projects in the Far East, despite the signed agreement. At the request of EastRussia, the sources familiar with the situation told about their vision of the conflict.

Nano against Hydro
Photo: shutterstock.com
Sunny interest

It all started very optimistically. In 2015, at the first Eastern Economic Forum, the energy holding RusHydro, the RUSNANO group and the Far East Development Fund signed an agreement of intent to create a special fund for investments in the economy of the Far East. It was assumed that the funds will be invested in "projects of the electric power industry and related industries."

Of the three signatories, it was RUSNANO that was a relative “newcomer” to the region - the company undertook to invest not only with money, but also with the high-tech developments that the group already had. According to media reports, during 2016 the co-investors planned to invest 4,8 billion rubles in the fund through investment partnership mechanisms. The field for basic interaction was clear - these are projects in the field of renewable energy in the areas where RusHydro's subsidiary RAO Energy Systems of the East operates.

Since 2012, RAO ES of the East has been actively building solar and wind power plants in remote regions of the Far East. It is here, in contrast to the “mainland”, that renewable energy facilities (RES) have shown their economic efficiency even without the use of special “green” tariffs. The territory of the Far East is almost a third of Russia, and the population here is less than in Moscow alone, and it does not live compactly, and sometimes in villages, to which, as they say, it takes three days to go on reindeer - and then if there is a road in winter. Now in such settlements there are mainly diesel power plants, where fuel goes through the "northern delivery" for up to three years. By the time of arrival in the village, it is simply gold in price, which means that the cost of a kilowatt of electricity is high.

Alternative one - SES and WEC. In the Far East, a high level of insolation and strong winds, the installation of solar panels and windmills can save expensive diesel fuel, which means it reduces electricity tariffs. Now 16 SES and three wind farms have already been built. And in the plans was to implement 178 objects of RES.

On the other hand, RUSNANO is the founder of Hevel LLC (by 49%) - a leading Russian company that not only builds solar power plants in Russia (including in regions close to the Far East - for example, in Altai), but also produces solar panels at its own plant in the European part of Russia. It would seem that the points of contact between the two state-owned companies are obvious - take it and do it. But gradually it became clear that something had gone wrong.

Windy gusts

The other day, the chairman of the board of RUSNANO, Anatoly Chubais, speaking on the air of Russia 24, said that RusHydro had abandoned joint plans to create a fund for investment in the economy of the Far East. “This is an extremely interesting topic for us, it is extremely important (strengthening our presence in the Far East), we interacted a lot on this topic with our colleagues, including the RusHydro company, which eventually completely failed this topic. I have a feeling that RusHydro is not interested in what is happening in the Far East, they refused to invest, despite the fact that they own RAO ES Vostoka, and after a categorical refusal from such a partner, we do not know how we to be further ".

The head of the company added that "RUSNANO" continues to seek partners abroad, but "going to the Far East without Russian partners would be strange."

The rebuke sounded like a bolt from the blue. The task of attracting high-tech industries from the state to the Far East is clearly formulated; in January, at a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the president's plenipotentiary in the Far Eastern Federal District, Yuri Trutnev, the idea was even voiced to create a special joint fund of RVC and FRDV, which would finance high-tech projects. Against this background, the public denunciation of the agreements between the two state companies, reached at the presidential forum in Vladivostok, literally blew up the media space.

The reaction of RusHydro did not take long. In operative comments, the company's spokesman Vladimir Markin said that "in the course of the inventory of proposed innovations, it turned out that only one of the developments of RUSNANO in the field of solar energy could be applicable to the development of the energy of the Far East. Therefore, it was considered inadvisable to create a special fund for the sake of one joint project. "

As noted in Markin's commentary, one of the subsidiaries of RUSNANO was offered to take part in the development of solar power plants in Yakutia. But “during the elaboration of this particular project, it turned out that the innovative technologies of RUSNANO - film coatings of solar batteries - were not designed for the difficult climatic conditions of the Far East, let alone the Far North”. “Investing RusHydro's funds in other innovations, interesting only to RUSNANO itself, was deemed inappropriate. This would contradict the status of RusHydro as a company that solves clearly defined state tasks, added Vladimir Markin.

EastRussia Help. According to the annual reports of JSC RUSNANO for 2015 (the latest available), the group's direct investments in the energy sector at the beginning of 2016 amounted to 32,4 billion rubles. out of the total 135,1 billion rubles. In the company's portfolio, in addition to the already mentioned Hevel LLC, projects under the names Superwires (creation of industrial production of nanostructured electrical wires with ultrahigh strength and electrical conductivity), Polysilicon (production of polycrystalline silicon and monosilane), Liotech and Cathode materials »(Lithium-ion batteries), Nesscap (high power energy storage devices) and Lilliputian Systems (autonomous fuel cells).

A little later on the portal Lenta.ru a column by Vladimir Markin was published under the title "To the inhabitant of the glass house." The lexical set - "public masochism", "turn to a staff psychologist", "a sign of frustration" - obviously translates the conflict into individuals. Anatoly Chubais in the text gets both for “remembering RusHydro in vain” and for “abstract liberal approach” at the stage of reform of RAO UES of Russia, which, in fact, put, in the author's opinion, the Far Eastern energy systems on the brink of survival.

As for the history of cooperation between the companies, then, according to Vladimir Markin, it really did not exist. “The framework agreement was signed in 2010, and active discussion in working groups began three years later. Specific directions for the search and implementation of innovations were identified - first of all, new renewable energy technologies for solar, geothermal, tidal power plants already operating as part of RusHydro. They also studied the use of new materials for equipment and dams of hydroelectric power plants, new technologies for energy storage, in addition to pumped storage power plants, ”explains Vladimir Markin.

"Unfortunately, of all the proposed" RUSNANO "and projects interesting for RusHydro, the development stage for 2016 reached only one. A group of scientists and engineers from Novosibirsk creates a technology for mechanical energy storage, "the column says. The official representative of RusHydro also mentions that "there have never been any special agreements on the development of the Far East, since innovations are not connected with the regions, but only with branch systems."

Hydro without NANO

According to RusHydro's logic, since Hevel's solar panels turned out to be unsuitable for the harsh Far East, there will be no cooperation between state-owned companies. At the same time, since the signing of that very agreement at the WEF, Hevel has built several solar generation facilities in Altai, where the climate, by the way, is also not the most favorable.

EastRussia's interlocutors in the industry draw attention to the fact that the decision of RusHydro on cooperation was made by another management team: the agreement with RUSNANO and the Far East Development Fund is signed by Evgeny Doda, the previous head of the state holding. The new head of RusHydro, Nikolai Shulginov, is described as a conservative, cautious, “old school” manager, and decisions that somehow affect the Far East are more of an optimization than an expansion.

Thus, one of the initiatives was the reduction of the holding's investment program, primarily due to the comprehensive modernization program. According to the report "RusHydro: On the Way to Efficiency and Stability" dated December 8, 2016, by optimizing the investment program of RAO ES of the East, including the reduction of technical re-equipment projects, the company saves more than 5,5 billion rubles. At the same time, it is said that “the main potential for reducing the costs of the RusHydro group lies in the optimization of the activities of the RAO ES of the East holding”. The company's analysts estimated the subsidiary's "burden" at 17 billion rubles and suggested saving these funds by merging the companies.

Despite the fact that cost optimization, the report said, "allows you to keep the bulk of the equipment in good or satisfactory condition," the story turned out in the public field not in the best light. After Nikolai Shulginov predicted a possible increase in accidents at a meeting on preparation for the 2016/2017 heating season, he came under fire from the Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation Alexander Novak. “Redo it and don’t show anyone else ... Cutting the investment program is your idea. It was your decision to capitalize on a smaller amount, ”said Mr. Novak.

However, the mentioned optimization (and its subsequent cancellation - in December the company announced the next adjustment of the investment program, increasing the cost of modernization), say the interlocutors of EastRussia in the industry, it does not make the weather. In the course of the reform of RAO UES of Russia, which left the energy sector in the territory of a third of the country “outboard” of new principles, the Far East was left without modernization, but with an almost critical level of wear and tear and huge budgets, including those sewn into tariffs aimed at “patching holes ".

The last major investments in infrastructure took place in 2012, when Russian President Vladimir Putin, in the presence of the plenipotentiary and Minister for Development of the Far East Viktor Ishaev and the head of RusHydro, Yevgeny Doda, ordered the allocation of 50 billion budget funds for the construction of four new energy facilities in the regions of the Far Eastern Federal District. The construction, meanwhile, has not yet been completed: according to information on the official website of RusHydro, "all four power facilities are planned to be built by the end of 2017" (the time shift relative to the initial one is one to two years).

NANO without Hydro

Meanwhile, in October 2016, RUSNANO announced that it would invest 10 billion rubles in the construction of wind power plants in Russia. RUSNANO's investments will be directed to the creation of two international consortia, one of which is a community for the localization of the production of wind turbines and their key components in Russia, and the second - for the construction and operation of wind farms.

RUSNANO also signed a preliminary agreement with the Finnish Fortum on the creation of a fleet of wind generating capacities in the next few years. As expected, the parties will complete by the end of 2017 the construction of a wind farm with the capacity of 35 MW in the Ulyanovsk region. 

Whether the projects on wind generation in the Far East between RusHydro and RUSNANO were discussed in the framework of the failed alliance, EastRussia was not able to find out. However, it is obvious that now, even if the "Russian windmill" along the line of "RUSNANO" will be created, it is hardly worth waiting for it in the Far East.

PS Dod without NANO and without Hydro

Finishing the story about how Markin quarreled with Chubais, it would be right to mention the fate of the remaining characters.

The Far East Development Fund (and the head of the fund, Alexei Chekunkov, also put his signature on the agreement in 2015) did not touch upon the scandal. There is no information on the activity of the fund in the implementation of this agreement in the public field, none of the parties expressed any claims to the fund.

Evgeny Dod is under house arrest. On December 21, the measure of restraint was softened for him, earlier he was in custody. The arrest period was extended in December until mid-February, and in mid-February - until May 21. The former head of RusHydro does not admit his guilt, except for the suspicion of embezzling 73 million rubles, no new charges were brought against him. 

The main victim, meanwhile, remains the Far East.

Since 2012, the macroregion has not received any new complex projects to improve the situation in the energy sector (the famous law on equalization of tariffs to the average Russian level came into force, but has not yet started working). In the Magadan region, new networks are being built, in Chukotka - a floating nuclear power plant. But there is still no energy bridge to Japan (“The project can be discussed, but I would not set the company's task to actively develop the discussion process, too many incomprehensible economic conditions for joining this project,” said Nikolai Shulginov last summer), and major projects were new generation, for example, Khabarovsk CHP-4, and remain on paper.

The development of renewable energy showed good dynamics: a megawatt station was established beyond the Arctic Circle, Japanese windmills in the Arctic version in Kamchatka. These projects represent a modern and cost-effective new energy sector in the region - albeit in metered quantities.

To increase the dose so far, there is no one. 
May 15: current information on coronavirus in the Far East
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