Prime Minister Vladimir Putin attends the opening of the Vysota 239 welding shop at the Chelyabinsk Tube Rolling Plant


Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has attended the opening ceremony for the innovative Vysota 239 welding shop at the Chelyabinsk Tube Rolling Plant (ChTMZ) as part of Russia's first "white metallurgy" national project. The project involves the extensive use of innovative, high-tech machinery and processes for manufacturing reliable, high-quality tubes.

A ChTMZ shareholder, A. Komarov, emphasized how important government guarantees were to complete this project. He then asked Mr Putin to press the start button to begin production. But the prime minister passed on this privilege to a young worker, Yevgeny Gaas, who won the contest to name the new welding shop in March of this year. Vysota (Altitude) 239 refers to the height of the southern Urals above sea level that also corresponds with the altitude of the geographic point of the new shop's location.

Following the ceremony, Mr Putin toured the shop to see how tubes are manufactured. The man in charge of the project, V. Tazetzinov, told the prime minister what kind of technologies and equipment had been used in the project. He also called Mr Putin's attention to the shop's colourful décor.

Mr Tazetzinov said the project had drawn from ChTMZ's own expertise, accumulated over the years, as well as from the most advanced global developments in the industry. He showed Mr Putin two presses, which he described as the "heart" of the plant, adding that the delivery of the 24-ton presses to Chelyabinsk from Perm, where they had been brought by barge, was an unprecedented operation, with military units called on to help. "We now have to live up to the high expectations. What matters most at the moment is not even the tubes' quality but their reliability, " Mr Tazetzinov said.

Mr Putin also spent time talking with the plant's young workers and veterans. He reminded them that government guarantees made it possible to complete Vysota 239 under such a tight deadline.

"We discussed this earlier today. It's possible to reach a new technological level even during an economic crisis, and you've proved this," Mr Putin said. He then autographed a special interactive screen, writing "Congratulations, best of luck!" to ChTMZ's staff.

The new shop will enable the plant to keep up with the rapidly developing technology used in complex oil-and-gas drilling operations offshore and in seismically active and permafrost areas. The construction of the 21-billion-rouble project began in 2008 and was rapidly completed thanks to the government guarantees provided to the ChTMZ group in late 2009 for a loan of 5 billion roubles from Gazprombank.

The new shop will manufacture large-diameter tubes for oil and gas pipelines. They are intended for use in the construction of main pipelines that transport hydrocarbons from offshore deposits, fields in seismically active, permafrost, and hard-to-access areas, as well as in laying marine pipelines.

Адрес страницы в сети интернет: