Prime Minister Vladimir Putin arrives in the Far Eastern Federal District on a working visit to attend commissioning of the first line of the Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok gas pipeline on Russky Island
8 september 2011
Vladimir Putin’s address at the commissioning ceremony:
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. This is a signal event for Primorye: Sakhalin gas has reached the region. This is a highly important achievement because the region was not connected to the gas network before.
Russia’s Far East is developing rapidly: two federal universities have opened, one in Yakutia and the other in Primorye; the necessary infrastructure, including roads, is being developed and the Khabarovsk-Chita federal road has been opened. We will now resume the repair of the road from Vladivostok to Khabarovsk. The Bureyskaya Hydroelectric Power Plant has been commissioned, the whole cascade of power stations. Few people know that the cascade generates 5% of Russia’s electricity output.
We will continue to develop the region, to make it a good place to live. The gas pipeline has reached the region. What does that mean? It means that, first, the environment will improve. You can see the smoke rising from the chimneys of municipal thermal power plant Tets-2. But today gas has reached that power plant; four large thermal plants and four small power stations in Russky Island will now be fuelled by gas.
This means – at least I hope so – that the regional and territories authorities will take all the necessary measures to ensure that today’s event leads to a reduction of electricity prices for the housing and utilities sector and the people living here, because gas is several times cheaper – the governor has told me it is 75% cheaper – than fuel oil, which the power plants use. The connection with prices will likely be indirect, but it should certainly have a positive effect on the housing and utilities fees. I expect the local and territorial authorities to make sure this happens. Overall, this event has created a new impetus for development. Our large companies can now open their production units here, which is very important, creating well paid jobs, because electricity is the basis of development.
I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this project. It was a difficult job – to lay 1,350 kilometres of pipelines in barely two years. This is a great achievement. It was a very difficult project that provided for crossing 400 water bodies in very difficult weather conditions.
The day before yesterday I attended the commissioning of Gazprom’s new gas export pipeline from Vyborg in the Leningrad Region to Europe. Today I am attending an equally momentous event: gas has reached Primorye and will be used to develop the region, directly serving the interests of the Russians who live in the region, in this case in Vladivostok.
I would like to once more express my gratitude to all those who helped implement that project. In conclusion, I want to say that the infrastructure development project in Primorye and the Far East is not completed yet. Next year we will launch one more large energy project: we will lay a gas pipeline from Yakutia in order to increase the energy security of the region and to enhance its stability.
I remember that when I came here several years ago we used cross-country vehicles to drive around the island along unpaved forest roads. Since then you have built a whole new city, whose development depends on power generation.
I congratulate workers, engineers and designers – because it is very important when a project is also nice to look at – on their achievement and wish them the very best. Thank you.
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The Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok gas pipeline is a major priority of the Eastern Gas Programme. The main objective of the project, which is implemented by Gazprom on the order of the Russian government, is to supply the Khabarovsk Territory and the Sakhalin Region with gas, as well as to organise gas supply to the Primorye Territory.
The ceremony was attended by First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Viktor Ishayev and Primorye Territory Governor Sergei Darkin.