21 january 2013

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visits Adler Thermal Power Plant and attends the ceremonial launch to design capacity

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visited Adler Thermal Power Plant where he attended the ceremonial launch of the plant to full capacity.

Adler Thermal Power Plant is a modern combined-cycle power plant consisting of two PGU-180 autonomous units, 180 MW each. Natural gas, the most environmentally friendly fossil fuel, is the main and reserve fuel used at the plant. The power plant will significantly improve the energy supply to Sochi and ensure reliable electricity and heat supplies to sport and tourism facilities in the Imeretinskaya Valley and other mountain resort facilities.

The Adler Thermal Power Plant will cover more than a third of projected peak loads during the 2014 Olympics.

After touring the plant and hearing the report of the shift engineer, the Prime Minister gave the order to launch the power plant to its design capacity of 360 MW.

Dmitry Medvedev then spoke with plant employees.

* * *

Transcript of Medvedev’s meeting with employees of Adler Thermal Power Plant:

Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon.

Remarks: Good afternoon.

Dmitry Medvedev: Congratulations to you all on the launch of Adler Thermal Power Plant and the start of its operation at design capacity. First and foremost, this is good for Sochi residents. Of course, we should get prepared for the Olympic Games. However, after the Games, the plant will still be there with this high capacity available for the benefit of the Krasnodar Territory. I wish you all successful work and good wages, which are important for everybody. Once again I would like to cordially congratulate you – the new plant looks perfect, and it doesn’t even spoil the Olympic design. I hope it will perform all the tasks we have mentioned. I wish you success!  

Remarks: Thank you!

Dmitry Medvedev: Are you in good spirits?

Remarks: We are in high spirits!

Question: May I ask you a couple of questions?

Dmitry Medvedev: Do please, let’s talk. Everybody is here: Gazprom, the Mayor and the Governor.

Remark: The fact is that 90% of the personnel come from all over Russia.

Dmitry Medvedev: Where do you come from?

Answer: From Kaliningrad.

Dmitry Medvedev: Do you like Sochi?

Answer: The climate is surprising.

Dmitry Medvedev: Kaliningrad has the sea, too.

Question: Yes, but it is a bit colder there… Now I want to ask you about housing since we come from other quarters. They promised to offer us housing. As of now the company provides us with money for paying rent, but every employee wants to have his own housing. The housing guarantees had not materialised so far. Is it possible to exert some influence here?

Dmitry Medvedev: It is always possible to exert some influence, it is in our power. There are also some programmes in the Krasnodar Territory. What is it called? Accessible…

Alexander Tkachyov (Krasnodar Territory Governor): Popular Mortgage.

Dmitry Medvedev: Popular Mortgage. Mr Tkachyov has reported to me on it recently, and to my knowledge this programme will expand in order to join the mortgage programme. Primarily it involves lending rates and loan levels. Housing in Sochi is expensive, as you well know. I think it is more expensive than in the Kaliningrad Region. It has almost the same housing prices as in Moscow and the Moscow Region. This is a fact that has to do with the place’s popularity; therefore, it will be necessary to increase the size of housing loans. But we will expand and promote the programme. Mr Miller (addressing Alexei Miller), will Gazprom launch any programmes, are you planning anything?     

Alexei Miller (Gazprom CEO): Of course, we are planning to offer housing to all employees. There is no doubt about that. However, we are focusing on the intensive construction of production capacities and Olympic facilities that we have been tasked with. The situation with Sochi housing is all the more difficult because mass construction of Olympic facilities is currently underway. Lots of construction workers who have come to Sochi will reside and work in Sochi for a year before  the start of the Olympic Games. The situation will be acute during this year. After the launch of the Olympic facilities, and after the Olympic Games, the housing situation will be considerably easier.

Of course, the company will resolve all the housing problems of its employees. 

Dmitry Medvedev: Good. You have heard it first-hand.

Remark: It’s essential for us.

Dmitry Medvedev: Of course, it’s most important.

Ella Soboleva: Good afternoon. My name is Ella Soboleva, I’m a lead engineer, and in addition…

Dmitry Medvedev: Where are you from, Ella?

Ella Soboleva: I’m a local, from Adler.

Dmitry Medvedev: A local, thank God!

Ella Soboleva: In addition, I’m a mother of two children.

Dmitry Medvedev: That’s not right. You’re a mother, first and foremost, and you’re also an engineer. 

Ella Soboleva: I want to ask you: our town has long waiting lists for kindergartens, and there are few open spots. What can young moms do?

Dmitry Medvedev: You should have children – that’s what young moms ought to do. We have a huge stake in this, in fact.. Unfortunately, we have waiting lists not only in Adler or in Sochi. In fact, it is not easy for you – including for the reasons that have been mentioned – because a considerable part of construction capacities and funds have been diverted to Olympic facilities, to be frank. But that does not mean that nothing is being done. As far as I know, 700 spots were made available last year. Three kindergartens will open in 2013.

Alexander Tkachyov: Five more will open in 2014.

Dmitry Medvedev: Five in 2014, so we are making progress overall. This goal must be achieved as planned, by 2016. I know that you don’t feel like waiting until 2016, but we are getting there: three kindergartens in 2013, five more in 2014.

Alexander Tkachyov: There’s a chance that we may get lucky.

Dmitry Medvedev: Yes, a good chance.

Remark: Go ahead and have a third child…

Dmitry Medvedev: That’s what you should do.

Alexander Tkachyov: There are 3,000 people on the waiting list in Sochi.

Dmitry Medvedev: Does this number include children from three to seven, or infants, too?

Alexander Tkachyov: From one to seven.

Dmitry Medvedev: That’s the total number of people on the waiting list?

Alexander Tkachyov: Yes, correct.

Question: Mr Medvedev, may I ask a question?

Dmitry Medvedev: Yes, of course.

Question: My question has to do with the fact that our plant has reached maximum capacity, and we are about to introduce new ones.

Dmitry Medvedev: Yes, I know.

Question: However, the municipal grids can’t handle those volumes. We have blackouts in Greater Sochi on a daily basis. People are wondering why their homes have no power when there is a full operation thermal power plant.

Dmitry Medvedev: In fact, everything depends on you and me. We have built the Adler Power Plant and other plants specifically to ensure uninterrupted power supply to Sochi. That was my first point today: we are not building them for the Olympic Games primarily, because the Olympics will come and go. We are building them for Sochi residents and guests who are not going anywhere. I often come here as well. I’m also annoyed with the power outages that occur frequently here.

Remark: Yes, fairly often, although we are working on that.

Dmitry Medvedev: Power supply problems have been plaguing this region over the past 30 years. I believe the Olympic Games is a good reason for us to resolve this issue once and for all. We will commission so much capacity and improve the infrastructure to a point where this problem will become history.

Alexander Tkachyov: May I add to what you said?

Dmitry Medvedev: Please go ahead, Mr Tkachev.

Alexander Tkachyov: The issue is not only about emergency shutdowns, although they are still an issue…

Dmitry Medvedev: There are consumption peaks as well.

Alexander Tkachyov: …That’s because we have a massive construction going on now. That’s why we have scheduled shutdowns.

Dmitry Medvedev: But everything will be fine once it’s over.

Ella Soboleva: Thank you very much.

Dmitry Medvedev: Frankly, if it were not for the Olympic Games, the power supply problem in Sochi would have lasted indefinitely.

Remark: Dozens of…

Dmitry Medvedev: Dozens of years. Now that we have asked Gazprom and other companies to take care of it, they have built everything quickly and things will be the way they should be very soon.

Alexander Tkachev: The amount of generated power is satisfactory and overhead lines have been built. The distribution grids in Sochi are being renovated and lead cables are…

Dmitry Medvedev: We just have to wait a little.

Alexander Tkachyov: Just a little. The lines will be connected in September.

Dmitry Medvedev: Is there any other good news?

Andrei Bushmakin: Mr Medvedev, my name is Andrei Bushmakin. I’m a shift engineer at the power plant. I’m from the Krasnoyarsk Territory originally.

Dmitry Medvedev: Whoa, you’re a long way from home.

Andrei Bushmakin: My wife is on maternity leave and she has a question for you: the construction will end soon, the Olympics will come and go. Will there be any new jobs created here in Sochi for skilled employees after that?

Dmitry Medvedev: That’s an almost philosophical question. We have done so much in Sochi in preparations for the Olympics that there’ll be lots of jobs, and later there will be more jobs maintaining all these newly built facilities. Even before the Olympics, about one million people came to Sochi during high season. After we are done with the construction, the number of vacancies here and in Krasnaya Polyana will grow. So, go ahead and tell you wife… Is she here with you?

Andrei Bushmakin: Yes, she’s here.

Anatoly Pakhomov (Mayor of Sochi): We now have 5,000 job openings.

Dmitry Medvedev: The number of job openings will grow, of course. All these facilities will need people to work at them. What’s your wife’s profession?

Andrei Bushmakin: She’s a social psychologist.

Anatoly Pakhomov: We are building kindergartens – a great place for her to work.

Dmitry Medvedev: Wonderful! Kindergartens, sport facilities and schools.

Anatoly Pakhomov: We have built four new schools in just three years. You saw School No. 100 – a beautiful and spacious building. We are hiring now, please come work here.

Dmitry Medvedev: She’s living here already. She’s just waiting, right?

Andrei Bushmakin: Yes, she’s here.

Dmitry Medvedev: Then she’ll need to apply for a job. Sochi is about to become a large metropolitan area, so the job situation will be good here. Isn’t that right, Mr Miller?

Remark: We need people, but we also need to keep them here. The only way to keep them in Sochi is to build housing for them.

Dmitry Medvedev: Yes, housing, good salaries, of course, and decent living standards. I hope that living standards will be high in Sochi after the Olympic Games. People who come here should work hard, too.

Alexei Miller: Mr Medvedev, we spoke about Olympic tourist and sport facilities yesterday and decided that we will keep building them after the Olympics are over. We will build new infrastructure and Sochi will become a year-round ski resort eventually. Clearly, this will not happen overnight. These facilities will be built after the Olympic Games are over.

Dmitry Medvedev: There will be a new city built there, Greater Sochi. There are clearly not enough people here to maintain and service everything that they have built here now.

Alexei Miller: Resort construction is going on in tandem with the Olympic construction. We have new goals and new challenges.

Dmitry Medvedev: Yes, it’s all about new jobs and new investments. The motivation is strong.  Don’t worry, things will be just fine. Let’s wrap it up. I wish every success to all of you. Shall we take a group photo?

Remark: Let’s.

Dmitry Medvedev: Please go ahead.