Vladimir Putin meets with Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin
Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:
Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, Mr Sechin. What can you say about the launching of the seventh unit at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric power station? What are the plans for the near future? The governor of the region raised a number of questions on the recovery of the station, roads and bridges. They had problems after the winter and are worried about the possibility of a flood. Please, go ahead.
Igor Sechin: Mr Putin, on your instructions I held a regular meeting of the government commission on cleaning up the accident and getting the power plant up and running again. We have launched the new seventh unit. It fully relies on the new concept, and its design differs substantially from the old units. This is the second new unit – the first one was launched in December. This time we have put into operation the seventh unit. Its new design differs in the number of runner vanes, which reduce the unit’s vibration, and additional automatic control protection systems. Its covers and bolts are much stronger. The old ones were wrecked during the accident. So, Mr Putin, everything is going according to plan.
This year we will launch another two…
Vladimir Putin: In June?
Igor Sechin: Yes, Mr Putin, in June and at the end of the year. We will commission another three in the next year and the last two in 2014, thereby completing the station’s planned modernisation and reconstruction.
Today, the station generates 2,976 megawatts. It has five units. The sixth was also put into operation but was later withdrawn and replaced with a new one. The seventh unit is performing well – much better than the old ones. The old unit had a nominal power output of 640 megawatts and the new one has generated almost 700 megawatts during a test run. The chief designer and other specialists maintain that this is not the limit. But we will ensure that it operates in basic mode. It is now generating about 596 megawatts, which is adequate for the current water level.
Now a few words about the plans. I said that this year we will commission three units, another three in 2013 and the last two in 2014, thereby replacing all old units with new ones. Governor Viktor Zimin and I discussed this issue in detail. The infrastructure is up and running. This year we will deliver another consignment of equipment for the station by roads, the Northern Sea Route and the river.
Vladimir Putin: This load is too heavy for the roads and they are being destroyed.
Igor Sechin: We are keeping an eye on this, Mr Putin. We are repairing the roads to keep them in good shape.
Vladimir Putin: Money on the roads must be allocated on time.
Igor Sechin: I got you. We will follow up on this and the government commission will make note of this. Mr Putin, we also discussed the impact of the earthquake in Tuva. Its magnitude was 4.5 when it reached the station, and it continued to operate unhindered. The station is designed to withstand up to magnitude 7 tremors. When this seismic wave reached the station, its new automated equipment enabled it to work normally. One unit was switched off and put back into operation in an hour. We have finished working on new vibration sensors that will replace the imported Bently Nevada ones. Ours are more sensitive and are better adapted to our units.
Vladimir Putin: Will they produce units in St Petersburg on time?
Igor Sechin: Mr Putin, a team from Power Machines is working at the station. They are taking part in the assembly of the equipment. They are in charge of installation and maintenance work. Yesterday, the chief designer of the plant and the designer who has developed the new hydraulic units came to the station. All work is being carried out according to plan. The cost of one unit is about 1.3 billion roubles. The plant has received a total contract worth 12 billion roubles.
Vladimir Putin: We have repeatedly discussed with you the need to deal with the grid networks around the station and all related facilities for normal power exchange. What has been done in this respect?
Igor Sechin: Mr Putin, you are absolutely right. We talked about the need to coordinate power generation and grid capabilities. The Federal Grid Company is taking active part in this work. The restoration of the machine hall equipment is being carried out in parallel with the reconstruction of the switchgear, which is nearing completion. We have already made a design option. Electricity generation by the new equipment has been fully coordinated with the Federal Grid Company.
Vladimir Putin: All right. Keep this under control and report back to me.
Igor Sechin: Yes, Mr Putin. We will continue this work. In June one more unit… We will report to you.
Vladimir Putin: All right.