Russian pact to advance upgrade of 455-MW Novosibirskaya

Russian utility holding company Unified Energy Systems (UES) has signed an agreement with the Novosibirsk Region government ensuring regional support for the takeover and modernization of the 455-MW Novosibirskaya hydroelectric project by UES’ hydropower unit, HydroOGK.

The agreement between UES Chairman Anatoly Chubais and Novosibirsk Gov. Viktor Tolokonsky, announced January 18, outlines plans for social and economic cooperation and hydropower development in the region of south-central Russia.

Novosibirskaya, on the Ob River, is among the 22,000 MW of hydropower assets folded into the newly created OAO Federal Hydrogeneration Co. (HydroOGK or HydroWGC) by UES’ reorganization in 2004. The Novosibirsk facility was part of the second stage of hydro plant transfers, to be completed by the end of 2006.

UES said the agreement ensures HydroOGK will fulfill obligations toward Novosibirskaya employees in the course of the plant’s transfer, preserving jobs and ensuring work safety.

HydroOGK is to take part in implementing social programs to improve the social, economic, and environmental situation in Novosibirsk. The parties also agreed to work together to ensure that maximum possible amounts of funds are allocated to the federal budget to carry out water protection measures in Novosibirskaya Reservoir.

HydroOGK to invest US$10.8 million in project upgrade

HydroOGK plans to implement an extended modernization program for the project designed to improve plant reliability. The utility plans to spend more than 288 million rubles (US$10.8 million) on the project by 2011.

The utility also is to prepare proposals for additional hydropower development in the region, including small hydro generation.

The Novosibirsk government agreed to assist UES and HydroOGK in implementing investment projects in the region, including help in land use approvals, permits, registration of ownership rights, and licensing required for operations. The government also agreed to help negotiate electricity rates for the project, recognizing the expenses needed to carry out the project’s modernization.

Once restructuring is complete, HydroOGK will be the world’s second largest hydro generating company after Canada’s Hydro-Quebec, with 49 hydropower plants having an installed capacity of 23,300 MW. (HNN 11/23/06)

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