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"Yakutia is not a playground for experiments"

Dmitry Selyutin on the integration of isolated power systems

"Yakutia is not a playground for experiments"

Dmitry Selyutin, First Deputy General Director for Investments and Development of OJSC Far Eastern Energy Management Company (DVEUK), on the prospects of the Far Eastern energy sector, the principles of PPP in the implementation of large-scale projects and the reliability of Russian construction technologies.

- Dmitry Eduardovich, recently commissioned electric grid project of the power transmission line 220 kV "Chernyshevsky - Mirny - Lensk - Peleduy" with a tap to the NPS № 14 with the length of 1,5 thousand km is compared with the beginning of the implementation of the large-scale historical project GOELRO. What is your opinion?

- It is impossible to overestimate the significance of this event. This is the largest electric grid project in the Far East of Russia for the last 40 years. It's not just about the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), it's about the Far Eastern Federal District as a whole. It will not be a big exaggeration to say that this is a revolutionary event for the Yakut energy system, as well as for the energy system of Siberia, since the project is the beginning of an even larger task to unite the energy system of Siberia and the western energy sector of Yakutia. The project gives an impetus not only for the development of pipeline transport, for the social sphere of a number of settlements of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), but also for the development of a mountain cluster in the north of the Irkutsk region, to more actively address the issues of external power supply to the facilities of the Eastern Gas Program. And this is far from the finish, but the beginning of the great development of the energy of the Far East, the need for which has been said for a long time, and recently they not only say but also do it.

- What projects are to be implemented in the foreseeable future?

- A lot of work ahead. These are the construction of the Peleduy-Chertovo Koryto-Sukhoy Log-Mamakan lines, the construction of the Chayandino-Talakansky energy ring, the Suntar-Nyurba lines and further from Nyurba to Yakutsk. And probably, the construction of a line to Magadan through the Nezhdaninskoe field, Teplyy Klyuch, Ust-Nera, Nera Novaya is just around the corner. We were convinced that such large-scale complex projects are realizable, if we take on them "the whole world." And “the whole world” - this is the position of operating companies, the position of Yakutskenergo, the position of RAO ES of the East, RusHydro, FGC, our position, the position of the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, the governments of the subjects of the federation, including the Government of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), In the end, this is the position of the Government of the Russian Federation. And when, as they say, all these "stars converge", the project shoots. It happened. So, hopefully, it will continue to happen.

- Please tell us more about the construction of an energy bridge from Yakutia to the Irkutsk Region. Earlier you noted that in the Far East this is perhaps the only project in the electric power industry that is implemented on the principles of public-private partnership (PPP).

- Construction of the 220 kV overhead line Peleduy - Chertovo Koryto - Sukhoy Log - Mamakan will provide electricity to areas with high risks of power failure and remove infrastructure restrictions for the development of two of the largest gold deposits in Russia - Chertovo Koryto and Sukhoy Log, as well as Vysochaishy mine. A related systemic effect of construction is the possibility of issuing the locked capacity of the cascade of the Vilyui HPP and Svetlinskaya HPP.

In June 2012, an agreement was signed at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, according to which the first stage of the project (construction of one of the two chain circuits) is realized at the expense of OJSC Polyus Gold. The gold mining company is already building a power line from Peleduy towards Chertov Koryta. A project was made, and the project passed state expertise, a contractor organization was determined, construction is under way. At the moment JSC "DVEUK" is completing the design of the second phase facilities and is working on attracting budgetary financing.

Within a month, we will receive a positive conclusion of the state expertise on the project, and then we will get a “fork” associated with the fulfillment of commitments to continue funding this project from either the federal budget (within the federal program) or some state company.

- What is the scheme of raising funds for the project?

- To date, there are two options: the Federal Grid Company and the Far Eastern Energy Management Company. The investment program of JSC FGC UES is extremely tense, it is problematic to solve this issue at the expense of the tariff component. Therefore, colleagues from FGC considered the possibility of financing this project through borrowing in the National Welfare Fund. However, due to certain and well-known circumstances, our colleagues have a number of new priorities in the South and North Caucasus federal districts. That is why now, together with FGC and the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, we must make an agreed decision on the sources of financing for the Peleduy-Chertovo Koryto-Sukhoi Log-Mamakan project.

We offered the Ministry of Energy and the Government of the Russian Federation a scheme for financing this facility, related to the disposal of already created and commissioned facilities, the customer-developer for which was our company. Let me remind you that these are the power supply facilities of the APEC Summit (Primorsky Territory) and the ESPO pipeline (Yakutia), a number of facilities in Blagoveshchensk (the so-called energy ring), the currently commissioned and currently under construction facilities in the Magadan Region (Central-Sokol-Tentka and Orotukan lines - Tent - Central). In case of reaching a decision on the sale of DVEUK assets to the operating companies for the needs of power engineering in the Far East, the cash flow will be generated during the 2015-2016 year in an amount exceeding 30 billion rubles. I would not like to dive into the details of this scheme, but this is due to the transfer of generating capacities to RusHydro, network facilities in the synchronous zone of the East and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) to the Federal Grid Company in exchange for Inter RAO shares. This scheme is discussed, it has long been spoken about. However, I am not yet ready to name the specific parameters of the transaction. It is quite obvious that this is an effective, understandable, transparent mechanism for attracting extra-budgetary sources for the development of Far Eastern energy.

- In 2012, you talked about another large-scale project - Chayandino-Talakan energy ring, which will provide power supply for the development and operation of the same oilfields and gas condensate fields. When will the power transmission line be built?

- You can see by practice: about the "Suntar-Olekminsk" line, I spoke in 2008 - at 2010 we built it, on the line "Chernyshevsky - Peaceful - Lensk - Peleduy" - in 2010 year - in 2014 we built. If this logical series continues, then the Chayandino-Talakan ring will be built in 2017 year. But for this, there is a need to harmonize the interests of Rosneft (the Taas-Yuryakh field), Gazprom (Chayandinskoye field) and Surgutneftegaz (Talakanskoye field). It is necessary to fold this puzzle - and it does not work out very easily - to agree with everyone. I can say that we received an application for technological connection from "Surgutneftegas". Now we need to lay down the technological and financial ideology of the implementation of this project. Of course, I think that the project will be implemented on the principles of PPP with co-financing at the expense of those structures, of which I have already spoken. The meaning of this ring is not only in providing external power supply for these extractive enterprises, but also for the fact that the capacities that the oil companies are going to create, gas workers, and they are usually somewhat redundant, can be transferred to where more power is needed For example, to the north of the Irkutsk region.

- How technologically, from the point of view of world energy, is the line constructed taking into account permafrost and other extreme circumstances?

- Such a project is complicated for Central Russia, but for Yakutia it is not simple multiple. We always proceeded from such a clear and to the energy specialists, and builders, and consumers of the thesis that Yakutia is not a platform for experiments. Nevertheless, despite the conservative approach, we are really the first in this region to apply a number of technological innovations. This applies to voltage classes for the tuned substations, and the materials used, and the type of supports that we used on a number of sections of this route. All this makes it possible to say that this is an innovative project combining healthy conservatism, proven technological (domestic!) Solutions and those innovations without which modern energy can not be. The operation of this line will show our shortcomings, and we will probably work on these shortcomings for some time, as it always happens at construction sites, and here we very much count on the high qualification of the personnel of the operating company, Yakutskenergo, which will operate And already operates these lines.

By the way, we carried out a comparative analysis with what our colleagues in Canada, Alaska, are doing. On 100-150% - we are not worse, and in some places and better, and from the point of view of network construction. Applying modern technology, we on new lines together with the operating company reach a minimum level of losses. It's another matter that in Canada and Alaska there is another ideology and standards for the development of the electric power industry, that is, the emphasis is increasingly being placed in the direction of distributed energy, but this is a completely different topic. Our colleagues from the holding company "RAO ES Vostoka" are engaged in the topic of distributed energy very actively, creating new types of generation, which combine diesel, sun and wind. A number of such projects are launched, because, of course, it is wrong to build a paradigm of energy development only on the power grid component. The right combination of network construction and the creation of power nodes that can operate in an isolated mode is the prospect that the Yakut energy industry is waiting for, and the way this energy goes.

- What tasks in the development of electric power industry are to be solved in different regions of the Far East?

- The task of the first order is the integration of isolated power systems with the unified power system of the Russian Federation. But integration in itself cannot be a single goal. The network must be built where there is an intelligible, understandable consumer, otherwise you have to lose energy, lose power, work in the air.

In the medium term, the first task to be solved is the integration of isolated power systems. Let me remind you that now in the regime of isolated energy areas, most of the Yakut energy system works except for the cluster that was formed around Neryungri. In addition, it's all Magadan, Kamchatka, Chukotka, Sakhalin. Now the most active way is working out the issue of building a cable transition from the Sakhalin energy system to the mainland in connection with RusHydro's plans to build a new generation on Sakhalin. We are considering the issue, and I have already talked about this, on the construction of a line that unites the IPS of the East and the Magadan energy system across the territory of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

The task of a closer perspective is the integration of isolated power centers within the framework of isolated power systems. This is again a task for Yakutia. Yakutia is the right ground for engineering thought, for forming balances of electricity and power. I think that the integration of the western and central energy districts of Yakutia is absolutely not far off. However, due to the remoteness, due to relatively small volumes of consumption, of course, a number of settlements, a number of industrial enterprises will be focused on their own generation. Here, the difficulty is also due to the fact that, due to the implementation of the tasks, we, the energy sector, should show an obvious tariff gain for those consumers who would like to connect to the centralized power supply, but due to the relatively high level of tariffs, they still prefer their own generation. Therefore, there is no unequivocal answer in percent for Magadan, for Khabarovsk, for Yakutia. It is clear that the Kamchatka energy system will work in the medium and long term in isolation, but there are a number of projects that are worth thinking about, in particular the construction of the Milkovo-Ust-Kamchatsk line. It is absolutely clear that in a year we will face the problem of decommissioning the Bilibino NPP in Chukotka, and this disposal must be repaid. Now some hotheads say that it is necessary to build a line with Magadan there. Rosenergoatom has its position on setting up a floating nuclear power plant there, which was previously planned to be installed in Vilyuchinsk. However, I think that the Chukotka energy system will remain isolated for a long time. 

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