Irkutsk
Ulan-Ude

Blagoveshchensk
Chita
Yakutsk

Birobidzhan
Vladivostok
Khabarovsk

Magadan
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

Anadyr
Petropavlovsk-
Kamchatsky
Moscow

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Complex power engineering

Dmitry Selyutin: "The issue of budget investments in the development of the electric power industry in the Far East should not be viewed linearly, but synergistically"

Complex power engineering

Dmitry Selyutin, First Deputy General Director for Investments and Development of OJSC Far Eastern Energy Management Company (DVEUK), spoke about the problems of developing the Far Eastern electric power industry and responded to criticism of the President's Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yuri Trutnev, which was voiced against power engineers at a meeting in Magadan.

- Dmitry Eduardovich, how can you comment сlova Trutnev that the sale of electricity in Russia is a business and the state should not be involved in the construction of new power lines?

- This is not the first meeting on the development of the electric power industry, which is held by Yuri Petrovich. Probably Trutnev's criticism of us should be viewed in the context of an integrated approach to the development of the entire energy industry in the Far East. Formal logic says the following: yes, Magadan Oblast is an energy-surplus region. Two large hydroelectric power plants (Kolymskaya HPP and Ust-Srednekanskaya HPP - Prim.red.) potentially more than cover the needs of both existing consumers (there are few of them in Kolyma) and the prospective needs of the region, primarily developing gold mining enterprises in the Yano-Kolyma gold province. But the development of generation sources ran far ahead compared to the development of the infrastructure for the transport of electricity.

For the production of electricity in the Magadan region (and not only in Magadan) to become profitable, it is necessary to increase its consumption. But how to sell electricity, if the consumers themselves, who declare their need for it (Polyus Gold, Pavlik or some third legal entity), do not undertake the obligation to purchase it ?! That is, the take-or-pay principle does not work in this case. For example, due to the fact that Polyus Gold, due to the revision of its plans for the development of the Natalka gold deposit, did not select the required volumes of electricity, the local sales company Magadanenergo has lost income last year in the amount of 500 million rubles, which is a full annual the volume of the investment program of the energy company.

It turns out, on the one hand, we need to sell surplus electricity, on the other hand, the lack of obligations of potential consumers to purchase this electricity, which makes it very difficult to attract investment resources for the development of energy and other infrastructure in Magadan.

We treat with great attention and respect the criticism addressed to the Far Eastern power engineers, and this criticism is evidence that the state institutions are concerned about the development of the electric power industry in the Far East.

- Are there any high-voltage lines built at the expense of private investments in the Far East?

- In fact, recently, in the Far East, not a single electric grid project was implemented, which would be built by attracting investors' funds. We calculated that the payback period of these energy facilities with the declared volumes of electricity consumption is from 20 to 35 years. Under such conditions, it is impossible to develop the energy infrastructure through private investment.

Solving the problems of the development of power grid facilities is not a linear approach. It is not yet possible to increase energy consumption in energy-abundant areas. Firstly, due to the same lack of development of the respective mechanisms for the obligations of consumers to purchase certain amounts of electricity. Secondly, with a long payback period, there is no possibility of attracting investment resources to the construction of networks in the Far East. And thirdly, the Magadan energy system is still isolated, therefore all tariffs are regulated and the introduction of any object entails serious tariff consequences. Look, a line worth tens of billions of rubles is commissioned. This line is transferred to the operating organization, depreciation is accrued on it, taxes are paid on property, on land that it occupies. And all this is laid in the tariff. It is important to think about how the tariff load of the Far East falls on the national companies.

For example, the "Federal Grid Company" ("FGC") has led and is conducting quite large power grid projects in Primorye. And, of course, the Primorsky tariff would have grown many times over if FGC did not use the general federal tariff. That is, in fact, when the federal tariff is in effect, part of the tariff burden that is formed in the Far East falls on consumers throughout the Russian Federation, which, I think, is correct. But Primorye is part of the UNEG (Unified National Energy System), Magadan is a completely different story.

Therefore, our approach (and the approach, in fact, the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation) is understandable: the networks are built at the expense of budgetary investments. These budgetary investments will not be returned directly due to the increase in tariffs or revenues, but due to the growth of the economic potential of the territory, when new tax revenues will come from subsoil users - investors who receive electricity. The question should be considered not linearly, but synergistically.

- Why was the construction of the Ust-Omchug-Omchak 220 kV overhead line not included in the list of priority investment projects? You have applied for a project, and its importance cannot be underestimated.

- We have been talking about the Ust-Omchug - Omchak project for the last four years. In order to receive federal funding, it is necessary to develop design and estimate documentation (PSD). We have said more than once that we have accumulated funds for the development of design and estimate documentation, but we have not received the go-ahead. As a result, when the investment projects were being selected, two companies announced the construction of this line - Pavlik CJSC as a customer and we as a contractor. At the initial selection, the project went off with a bang. We entered the federal program. It is logical if a subsoil user submits for state support, and this line is built for him at the expense of the federal budget. In the summer, proceeding from the principle of synergy, which I spoke about earlier, we worked with Pavlik on a project. And when they began to consider the possibility of allocating funds for this object, a very simple question arose - where is the design and estimate documentation? She's gone. It is not developed. If there is no design and estimate documentation, then it is impossible to receive funds from the budget within the framework of the federal target program (FTP). That is, you can include a project in the budget, but you cannot get money. Therefore, I regard the failure of the 220 kV Ust-Omchug - Omchak overhead line to receive state support, at least this year, as a lack of coordination between the actions of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Ministry of Energy.

- And what to do in this situation?

- Develop design and estimate documentation. However, in order for the existing (old) line from Ust-Omchug to be able to meet the primary needs of gold miners, it is necessary to complete the construction of the 220 kV Orotukan - Palatka - Centralnaya overhead line, which will unload the network from the Kolymskaya HPP to the key substation Ust-Omchug by transferring energy to Magadan from the second power source - Ust-Srednekanskaya HPP. Accordingly, the released capacity can be directed not to the south - to Magadan, but to the west - to the Natalka, Pavlik, Rodionovskoye, Igumenovskoye, Dedekanskoye fields, because the new line will provide the main energy supply to Magadan. And then, proceeding from the confirmed demand of Natalka, which Polyus Gold promises to do not earlier than June, from the confirmed demand of Pavlik (Arlan company), to start designing a new line Ust-Omchug - Omchak.

- At the end of last year, no one had any doubts that the project of Orotukan - Palatka - Centralnaya 220 kV overhead line would be completed. Even Governor of the Magadan Region Vladimir Pecheny stressed its importance, saying that this is a significant project for potential investors.. Why does it suddenly turn out today that the project is being slowed down halfway?

- The project along this line has been developed, approved, and passed the state examination. About 6 billion rubles from the federal budget have been allocated to this line. The technical readiness of the project is 55%. On the section "Palatka - Tsentralnaya" as of March 1 of this year - 64%, on the section "Orotukan - Palatka", which is more extended and complex, - 42%.

In accordance with the investment agreement, which was signed between JSC DVEUK and the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, the commissioning date for this line is December 2015. The technical state of this line, the availability of resources from the contractor suggests that the project can be implemented in full this year. There is only one problem - the lack of funds from the federal budget for this year. The completion of the construction requires about 7 billion rubles. These funds were not included in the 2015 budget, despite the applications of the Ministry of Energy.

I will indicate a completely clear position of the Deputy Prime Minister (Yuri Trutnev - Prim.red.), which I can voice, because it is public: under budgetary constraints, it is criminal to freeze construction sites. And we made our suggestions on how to complete the construction this year.

- And what are the options?

- To begin with, we compared the costs of conservation of the project with the costs of completing the construction. It turned out that they are approximately equal. In this case, conservation in conditions of a small, hard-to-reach locality absolutely will not give any guarantees for the preservation of property. This means that federal money will be thrown out. In the case of freezing the construction of the line, the implementation of the facility will be postponed indefinitely.

The situation with investments in the electric power industry under conditions of budgetary constraints in the economy is known. It's like an old family dispute, when the family does not have enough money: the husband says that it is necessary to spend less, and the wife says that it is necessary to earn more. Likewise, in the energy sector during a crisis, it is wrong to narrow down investment activity, which leads to an increase in the revenue side of the budget both at the expense of taxes, and at the expense of employment, and at the expense of subsequent synergistic effects. This dispute in economics has long been resolved. Unfortunately, sometimes the desire of the Ministry of Finance to follow the path of saving budget expenditures through investments partially invested in the project, as in the Orotukan - Palatka - Centralnaya power transmission line, is a wrong decision. Hopefully this bug will be fixed.

In this regard, we propose to use federal budget funds to complete the construction of the line, which were saved by us through the effective implementation of other investment projects. There are several of these construction projects: the 35/110 kV overhead line "Central - Sokol - Palatka" in the Magadan region, the facilities of the APEC-2012 summit, the construction of the 220 kV overhead line "Suntar - Olekminsk" in Yakutia. The total amount of savings for the three projects amounted to almost 2 billion rubles. In addition, the company has formed a fairly large volume of returnable VAT on already commissioned facilities.

We propose to concentrate all financial efforts on the Orotukan - Palatka line section, which is key for unloading Ust-Omchuga and the most problematic, using the funds at the disposal of the company. In addition, we are ready to attract credit resources at the expense of our collateral and complete the project in full. But the attraction of credit resources, depending on the terms of lending, will lead to a rise in the cost of the project by 2 to 3,5 billion rubles. Of course, this is a deferred burden on the federal budget, due to which funds will have to be returned. The Ministry of Energy and the government are currently working on these approaches, and I am confident that we will fulfill our obligations to build the linear part of the project in 2015.

- The line "Orotukan - Tent - Central" is important not only for gold miners.

- First of all, its construction increases the energy security of the most densely populated areas of the region, including the regional capital. It is envisaged that the volume of energy consumption will also grow due to the fact that some consumers will be switched to electric heating. And, as already mentioned, it is important for the implementation of the Ust-Omchug - Omchak project, which, I hope, is also not far off.

I studied the history of the development of the Magadan electric power industry and found a letter from the head of Dalstroy, Lieutenant General Ivan Fedorovich Nikishov, addressed to the Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR Lavrenty Pavlovich Beria, about the need to build the Ust-Omchug - Omchak power transmission line. Now we have a chance to do what Lavrenty Pavlovich could not solve.

- How justified was your construction of your first line in Magadan - "Central - Sokol - Palatka"?

- She replaced two emergency power lines on wooden poles, which for half a century provided energy supply to nine settlements. And last summer, during the strongest flood in Kolyma, the new line worked in an accident-free mode, which helped to avoid very serious accidents. I would like to note that to date, the issues of operation along this line have been fully resolved. This line was transferred to Magadanenergo on a lease basis. In this case, the rent includes exactly depreciation and land tax, nothing more.

- Is it possible to use the experience of construction of the Peleduy - Chertovo Koryto - Sukhoi Log - Mamakan power transmission line in the Irkutsk region, where Polyus Gold has practically built a small section based on the mechanism of public-private partnership, in solving Magadan problems?

- You can use it, just remember that this is a two-way road. The initiative came from the gold miners, they made their part of the project. We have made a project on the second stage of this line, on connecting this section to the Unified National Electric Grid. Only again there is no decision who will build it. Therefore, the experience can be used, but taking into account the mistakes made.

In Magadan, Polyus Gold is not yet ready to say about its obligations for electricity consumption. "Pavlik" is not ready to say now that it will even bear the costs of designing "Ust-Omchug - Omchak".

- How is the construction of the Chayandino-Talakan ring progressing today? In September last year, you stated that by the year 2017 it can be built.

- Nothing happens with the Chayandino-Talakan ring. That is, this project exists as an idea, it is not denied by anyone, but the final decision on the expediency of its construction is not accepted. It is discussed, the basic parameters of the technical solution are understood, but the final strategy is not defined. And most importantly, consumers - gas specialists - have not yet told how exactly they need this ring.

- But it is the new projects that could contribute to the unification of the isolated power system of the south-west of Yakutia.

- The unification already happened at the end of November 2014, but for some reason neither the Russian energy community, nor the wide circles of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) noticed this. The following happened: "FGC" completed the construction of a power transmission line in the direction of Aldan - Olekminsk, creating conditions for the transit of electricity from the IES of the East to the energy system of Yakutia. The line carries a load, now the procedures are underway on the title documents for the power facility.

Moreover, in November, Transneftyenergo, which supplies power to the oil pumping stations of the Eastern Siberia - Pacific Ocean pipeline, registered groups of supply points from the wholesale market and began to take electricity from Yakutia, paying according to the tariffs of the United Energy System.

After the line from Aldan to Olekminsk started working, in December we applied to the Ministry of Energy about assigning our facilities built in the south-west of Yakutia to the Unified National Electric Network. The system operator has already confirmed the presence of signs of UNEG, and this means that the western energy district of Yakutia will formally cease to be isolated.

- Is it possible today to talk about the unification of the energy systems of Magadan and Chukotka? Is this question relevant?

- This is a big promising project, but it is much more important to resolve the issue of replacing the outgoing Bilibino nuclear power plant, the reconstruction of Chaunskaya CHPP and linear construction between these settlements. In the future, the unification of systems is possible, but it should be understood that the route for the passage of this line requires a fairly strong consumption. Therefore, I do not believe in figures that sometimes appear in the media, that this line is worth, for example, 18 billion rubles. This line, taking into account the generator, which should appear there, will cost at least 75-80 billion rubles. Now it is premature to talk about the imminent implementation of such a project, it seems to me.

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