Russian pacts to develop 3,000-MW Boguchanskaya, 2,500-MW Timpton

Russia’s state-controlled hydropower utility HydroOGK and corporate allies have launched state-private partnerships to develop two industrial complexes in Far Eastern Russia, including the 3,000-MW Boguchanskaya hydroelectric project and the 2,500-MW Timpton River cascade.

Lower Angara Region

HydroOGK, Russian aluminum producer RUSAL, and banking firm Vnesheconombank signed an agreement April 17 with the Federal Highway Agency, Federal Railroad Agency, Federal Energy Agency, and Krasnoyarsk Region’s Administrative Council for a Comprehensive Program of Development of the Lower Angara Region.

The Lower Angara program includes the Boguchany Energy and Metals Complex, which includes completion of the Boguchanskaya hydropower plant on the Angara River, a 600,000-ton-per-year aluminum smelter, and a 732,000-ton-per-year timber processing complex. HydroOGK and RUSAL secured a syndicated $520 million bridge loan in March to finance the complex. (HNN 3/23/07)

The state-private partnership envisions the state financing development of the infrastructure necessary for completion of the private investment projects. Lower Angara infrastructure includes a power distribution system for Boguchanskaya, construction and rehabilitation of highways and railways, and construction of a bridge across the Angara River.

Industry investment in the complex is to total US$6.88 billion. Additionally, the Lower Angara program is the first to receive state support from the Russian Investment Fund, which is to finance the supporting infrastructure to US$1.3 billion.

In December, HydroOGK and RUSAL awarded a contract to JSC Power Machines of Russia to supply turbines for Boguchanskaya. Delivery is expected to begin in 2008.

South Yakutia

HydroOGK, nuclear fuel and services exporter Teksnabexport, diamond monopoly Alrosa, and Yakutia Coal-New Technologies signed an agreement April 16 with the government of Yakutia (Saha) Republic to establish the Corporation for Development of South Yakutia.

The South Yakutia program includes construction of a cascade of hydropower projects on the Timpton River totaling 2,500 MW, a mining and metallurgical complex, a mining and chemical complex, a number of iron ore enterprises, and a coal complex. The industrial enterprises are to be the main consumers of Timpton hydropower.

Backers of the South Yakutia program anticipate it will be developed as a state-private partnership on the model developed for Lower Angara, in which the state finances development of the necessary infrastructure. The corporation, of which HydroOGK is to take a 25.1 percent stake, plans to file a finance application with the Russian Investment Fund by May 15.

In November 2006, a senior official of HydroOGK said Russia would issue its first multi-billion-dollar tender in 2007 to build new hydroelectric stations. At that time, the official said the tender would be to build an 8,500-MW Yuzhno-Yakutsk (or South Yakutia) hydropower complex at an estimated cost of US$12 billion to US$14 billion, and the Nizhnye-Zeyskaya and Nizhnye-Bureyskaya (or Nizhnezeiskaya and Nizhnebureyskaya) stations, with combined installed capacity of 600 MW, at a cost of US$1 billion. (HNN 11/23/06)

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