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First phase of Boguchansk Hydroelectric Power Plant has been launched

October 15, 2012, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region

Vladimir Putin observed the launching ceremony for first-phase operations of the Boguchansk Hydroelectric Power Plant in Krasnoyarsk Territory via videoconference.

Other participants in the videoconference included Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Basic Element CEO Oleg Deripaska, RusHydro CEO Yevgeny Dod and Krasnoyarsk Territory Governor Lev Kuznetsov.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,

Today we have an important and very pleasant event. Today, we will witness the launch of the first phase of the Boguchansk Hydroelectric Power Plant. As you recall, the work to build it began back in Soviet era, in 1980. Then in the mid-1990s, 1994 to be specific, everything came to a halt. It was only in 2006 that we resumed efforts to implement this project fully. Today, a very important step is to take place: we will be launching two units. The entire project should be completed soon.

I should say that in the last four years, we brought 12 giga-watts of new energy generation into operation, and by the end of this year we should be implementing 6 more giga-watts. These are very rapid rates.

The new power plant will certainly give strong momentum to the economy of the entire Krasnoyarsk Territory, as well as all of Siberia, increasing the reliability of its consolidated power supply system and offering new opportunities for developing the economy. This will include new production facilities and new social services such as stadiums, hospitals and educational institutions, because it is impossible to build anything if there is not enough electrical power.

This no doubt includes the Boguchansk Aluminium Smelter, a major company that creates many new high-level jobs. I very much count on the executives of RusHydro and RUSAL to do everything in order for these projects to develop as vigorously as possible for the good of our people.

This is a very good example of a public-private partnership. I already mentioned the RusHydro and RUSAL companies; this work was structured through involvement of Vnesheconombank and the level of its organisation was commendable. Aggregate investments in the project exceeded 90 billion rubles [about 3 billion dollars] – these are very serious investments. As of October 1, 2012, 77 billion rubles have already been invested, including 60 billion rubles from the RusHydro and RUSAL companies, and 17 billion from Vnesheconombank.

”The new power plant will certainly give strong momentum to the economy of the entire Krasnoyarsk Territory, as well as all of Siberia, increasing the reliability of its consolidated power supply system and offering new opportunities for developing the economy.“

Boguchansk HPP will be at its full capacity very soon and I would like to point out the need for strict adherence to all environmental requirements.

There is one more issue to which I want to draw the attention of all the participants in this project, as well as regional and local authorities. Constructing such facilities certainly affects people’s interests. It is done for the people, but it also affects their interests – particularly those who live in the nearby areas. I am not sure that all the social issues are fully– this is something I want to stress – fully resolved. I demand that the authorities at all levels and the executives at the companies take this into account. Of course, these efforts should be supervised by the governors. In the immediate future I expect information and reports on what has been done for people who are being displaced, what has been done to maintain environmental safety, and in general on all issues of this nature.

But overall, I would like to once again emphasise that this is a major event for the economy of Siberia and all of Russia. I congratulate all of you on this result.

I give the floor to our colleagues.

Viktor Uporov [General Director of Boguchansk HPP Construction Company]: Good evening, Mr President,

Today is a momentous day for hydropower construction workers and energy sector professionals: the power plant is ready to launch its first hydraulic unit. The construction history of the Boguchansk HPP stretches back over the past 30 years. The launch was initially planned in 1992. On October 25 we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of damming Angara. However, the construction was halted with the beginning of perestroika.

One of the oldest veterans of Boguchansk HPP construction is with us here today: Dmitry Sarikiyan started working at the hydroelectric power plant in 1981. He participated in the laying of the first block of concrete and damming the Angara River. He is still working on the construction site. We have many people like him, and thanks to their dedication the construction project kept going strong through the most difficult years.

Mr President, in October 2005, you issued instructions to the Government of the Russian Federation to complete the construction of the Boguchansk HPP. Teams of designers, construction and installation companies embarked on the project; factories received orders for manufacturing equipment. The city of Kodinsk came to life again. Work began in the Krasnoyarsk Territory on the construction of roads, power lines of the Boguchansk Aluminium Smelter and other facilities.

Mr President, we are very grateful to you for the years of hard work for the benefit of the people, for developing Eastern Siberia and all of Russia.

In May 2012, we began filling the reservoir. The pre-commissioning work began at the site under the direction and control of lead engineers and the Federal Service for Supervision of Environment, Technology and Nuclear Management. We plan to launch three hydraulic units in the near future, gradually put the remaining six generating units into operation, and the Boguchansk HPP will reach its design capacity of 3,000 mega-watts in 2013.

The power plant has cutting edge monitoring and control systems. Having learnt a lesson from the accident at the Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP, we provided for closing gates and guide vanes in case of power outage, and a host of other solutions. The Boguchansk HPP is the most advanced and one of the top five largest hydroelectric power plants in Russia.

Mr President, two hydraulic units of the Boguchansk HPP have passed through the entire complex of commissioning and testing procedures and are ready to be put into operation. Will you give the order to launch two hydraulic units of the Boguchansk Hydroelectric Power Plant?

Vladimir Putin: Launch the units.

Viktor Uporov: Construction veteran Dmitry Sarikiyan will press the start button together with a representative of our young professionals, Roman Perevalov.

Vladimir Putin: Go ahead.

Viktor Uporov: Launch the units.

Our colleagues are approaching the hydraulic unit’s control panel and are about to press the start button. This is the most reliable and modern automatic control system. At the moment, the automatic system is processing the launch algorithm. Now you can hear a noise: the guiding device is opening, the shaft is rotating and the unit is gaining momentum. The synchronisation is in progress.

Vladimir Putin: Congratulations to all of you, to everyone who worked at the site and continues to work here: the builders, engineers and workers.

Mr Sarikiyan, how did you feel when the work practically stopped in 1994? How did you manage to keep the site in the condition in which it was when we resumed the work in 2006?

Dmitry Sarikiyan: Naturally, when the construction was halted, there was some uncertainty; we did not know what the future held for us. But we were confident that a construction project of such calibre would have to be resumed one day. That gave us strength. When it was decided to resume the construction of Boguchansk HPP, the people were very happy. You could say that they had waited for that moment for thirty years. This would be an unforgettable event in the life of any person, but if you put your sweat and blood in the project, it’s a real holiday. 

Vladimir Putin: How many people worked here in the 1990s? How many people were employed in the project in the period from 1994 to 2005?

Viktor Uporov: The Boguchansk HPP employed about 600 people.

Vladimir Putin: And now?

Viktor Uporov: We have over 4,000 people working at the construction site.

Vladimir Putin: I congratulate you once again on this momentous event, and I want to thank you with all my heart for your hard work, your patience and your confidence that the power plant will be completed.

Good luck to you! All the best.

Viktor Uporov: Mr President, we would like to invite you to the launch ceremony in the autumn of 2013, when all nine units will be in operation and the power plant will reach its full capacity.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you, I will be happy to attend. Thank you.

October 15, 2012, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region