Developing energy for development of Far East
The Far-Eastern energy complex witnessed huge momentum in 2012, after a long period without any renovations. During that year, public funds were allocated for the construction of four new electric power stations in the region, by the decision of Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia. Today, construction works are in their final stages, and the stable operations of these new stations will not only enhance the existing energy system, but also provide the energy needed for growth, i.e., satisfying the demand of investors who keep coming into the region
The Far-Eastern energy complex in Russia is extremely complicated, as only a part of the territory is currently consolidated into an integrated system. Kamchatka, Magadan Oblast, Chukotka, Central and Western Yakutia, and Sakhalin Island are all separate autonomous energy systems. This factor makes the prime electric energy cost rather high, higher than in the European part of the country. Power producing facilities in the Russian Far East have not had any renovations for over 30 years. Thus, the most time-sensitive and crucial thing for the region is to complete the “presidential” federally funded construction of new power stations as soon as possible. The implementation of these projects was entrusted to RusHydro PJSC and its subsidiary company RAO Energy Systems of the East PJSC – an integrated center responsible for the regional energy sector. Each of the four electric power stations will make it possible to develop particular sectors in the respective territories.
The first facility of this program is the second phase of the Blagoveschensk CHP plant. The construction work has already been completed, and its equipment has been put into operation. The need for expansion here was dictated by a vital need – the capital city of Amur Region has suffered from a lack of heating for many years, and the deficiency was so high, that new heat consumers were not able to connect to the heating system. Now, the heat can flow into residential clusters with their apartment blocks rising above the city, and into the greenhouse facilities of local agricultural enterprises, which are ready to compete with Chinese vegetable suppliers, and into many other businesses as well. The effect of this capacity increases will be seen very soon.
The construction of the power station in Yakutia has entered its final stages. Today’s Yakutsk is the fastest growing city in Russia’s Far East. This is a unique construction project, as it is taking place on permafrost (perpetually frozen soil). After it is completed, the new energy capacities will fully satisfy the city’s growing demand. New residential districts will be connected to the heating system, and electric power will be available to new enterprises, including the Kangalassy Industrial Park Advanced Special Economic zone.
Perhaps the development project most closely connected with the region is the CHPP in the city of Sovetskaya Gavan in Khabarovsk Krai. Here, a new maritime and logistics cluster is being formed and a Port Special Economic Zone has been created. In the neighboring city of Vanino, a Free Port Zone has been established. However, the existing station, Maiskaya State Regional Power Plant (SRPP), was built almost 100 (!) years ago. This new station will provide energy to a multi-functional port and ship-repair center, container and coal terminals, help develop fish and seafood processing, and satisfy other requirements of businesses operating in the Free Port. The benefits for local residents are also important – today, the centralized water-supply system operates only from October to May, during the heating season, but after putting the CHPP into operation hot water will be available to residents throughout the year.
The new station in Sakhalin is of particular importance for the region. The mining and processing industry is developing rapidly on the island, which is why a reliable electric power reserve is desperately needed, and all the more so as the current SRPP has almost exhausted its calculated service life. For the island, notorious for its destructive cyclones, which are a long-lasting source of major concerns for utility providers, it is important that the new station be located at the intersection point of main high-voltage power lines. This will provide a substantial increase in the sustainability of energy infrastructure of the electrical grid infrastructure of the entire region.
Naturally, it was impossible for the new energy program to ignore Vladivostok, one of the largest far-eastern cities and capital city of Primorsky Krai. The capital city of Primorsky Krai has long been considered a weak point when it came to its electric supply – the largest energy-producing facilities are located in the northern part of the region, while the main consumers are in the south. Moreover, Vladivostok is being gradually surrounded with points of economic growth – the southern part of Primorsky Krai was declared a Free Port Zone, and in close vicinity to the city itself three ASEZ (Advanced Special Economic zone) have already been established; these are the Nadezhdinskaya ASEZ, Mikhailovsky ASEZ and Bolshoi Kamen ASEZ. To satisfy growing demands, a new CHPP called Vostochnaya is being built in the city by RAO ES of East PJSC using its own resources and loan capital. This project, in its own way, is unique – because the creditors, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, made it a strict condition that this power facility must comply with the most stringent environmental requirements. As a result, Vladivostok will receive one of the most modern and safe electric power stations in the country.