Peretok Light: highlights of the Russian and global power sectors for 11 to 17 March
Sources: “The commissioning ceremony of the TPP in Crimea may coincide with the 5th anniversary of the region’s annexion”
Today, President Vladimir Putin will take part in the commissioning ceremony of the second power generation units of the Tavricheskaya and Balaklavskaya TPPs in the Crimea. Reuters was the first to report about this in the middle of the week, and then other news agencies followed with reference to their sources. The ceremony will be symbolic and must put an end to a complex project that has become famous, primarily due to the scandal with the "Crimean Siemens turbines". The deadlines for commissioning were repeatedly postponed by the government, the current edition of the Cabinet Decree appointed the commissioning of the first two power generation units at both TPPs in Crimea on September 1, 2018 (postponed from May 19), the second block of Balaklavskaya TPP - on October 1 and Tavricheskaya TPP – on November 1 (earlier, the commissioning period for both units was set for June 18).
Rostech's subsidiary, Technopromexport, complained of delays due to the unavailability of the related infrastructure, for which, at the insistence of the Crimean authorities, local contractors were responsible, and requested to delay commissioning of second lines until March. The first lines of TPPs in Simferopol and Sevastopol officially began to be traded on the Wholesale market for electricity and power since February 1, the Deputy Energy Minister Andrey Cherezov reported; according to the dispatch schedule, they have been operating since October 1 of last year. In early March, the Ministry of Energy reported on the formation of excess power on the peninsula due to the actual inclusion of the second lines of TPPs in the network.
Vasily Kiselyov: “The idea of introducing payment for power must be goodly buried in the archive”
Information about the visit of Vladimir Putin to the Crimea was confirmed in the Kremlin at the weekend. According to the presidential press relations service, the head of state will take live part in the commissioning ceremony of the Balaklavskaya TPP as well as in the commissioning ceremony of the Tavricheskaya TPP and the “Port” substation in Taman (in videoconference format). The head of “Rossety”, Pavel Livinsky, recently offered to the head of state to visit the last site. The idea of such a visit in an interview with “Peretok” was also supported by the head of the “Energy Consumer Community”, Vasily Kiselyov, who described the “Port” substation as a typical example of incompetent planning when creating a network infrastructure. Irrational funds distribution is the key problem of the complex; the authorities together with the management of the sector should deal with these issues, without coming up with new ways of motiveless funds collection from consumers, according to the energy purchasers association. By the way it was proposed to drop an idea of introducing payments for network reserves - one of the most debatable topics of recent time in the energy.
Tariffs will not swell from water
The issue of introducing privileges for power plants with direct-flow water circulation systems was developed in unexpected way. The annual indexation of water charge rates by 15%, being held in 2015-2024 at the initiative of the Ministry of Environment, increases the cost of heat and electricity, which threatens with an additional increase in tariffs. The Ministry of Energy proposed in December to introduce a derating factor of 0.3 for direct-flow power plants, but eventually abandoned this idea and supported the project of the Ministry of Natural Resources, published on March 5. According to the document, from the year 2020 for a SDPPs and a NPPs with direct-flow water circulation systems, it is proposed to set an all-Russian rate of 670 rubles per 1,000 cubic meters of abstracted water (now is set for each water reservoir separately), with further annual indexation by about 5%. Initial expert estimates of the financial implications of such a decision for generators are likely to become overly optimistic. For example, the calculations for the Gusinoozyorskaya TPP where every thousand cubic meters of water costs more than 1.15 thousand rubles are given in the project summary. As it turned out later, the water charge rate for Gusinoozyorskaya TPP is the maximum throughout the sector, the other generators pay less. The current "average" fee for 1 thousand cubic meters of water in the sector is slightly less than 640 rubles, but this figure is an “average temperature in the hospital,” so it is not indicative, as the sector informants note.
Generators are still preparing an assessment of the financial implications of the project by the Ministry of Natural Resources for specific stations. "Peretok" will inform about the results of this analysis in the coming days.
Large generators supported the idea of developing grounds for PDC termination
An important changes in the issue of developing the grounds for the PDC termination were outlined. The profile deputy prime minister has ordered in January to prepare proposals on this topic by March 15. Regulators explained informally that all the necessary rules (primarily fines) are already incorporated in the design of contracts for modernization. The design of the “first” PDC, according to which in Russia was built about 30 GW of new power facilities, has been modified to prevent repeating of the situation with the third power unit of Berezovskaya SDPP, when consumers continued to pay for its power facility even after it burned. Previously, generators were the main opponents of the idea of fixing the grounds for the PDC termination for separate sites - this threatened the legitimacy of the statutory concept of the “first” PDC, which was signed as a single contract for all wholesale market participants, according to the lawyers. “Market Council” and the Ministry of Energy still have a negative attitude to the idea, but, as it became known last week, large generating companies and consumers agreed that with a protracted delay in facilities commissioning - from one to three years - it is necessary to provide the obligations termination possibility under the new modernization program.
GEH may replace “Silmash” in JV with Siemens
Just before the start of "volley" selection of TPP projects for modernization, the key engineering market players and the largest generators are looking for ways for equipment allocation (first of all, high-capacity gas turbines), which are not produced in Russia. Power engineers may feel a need for gas turbines in the second stage of the power capacity renewal program; in the first years, the main quotas will be distributed between more obsolescent and overage steam power units. So far, the key generating market players are tend to the idea of allocation of gas turbine examples already existing in the world, and not to developing them from scratch. In this context, “Kommersant” reported that “Gazprom Energoholding” could change the Alexey Mordashov’s “Siloviye Mashini”in an allocation joint venture with Siemens. “Silmash”, which was slapped with western sanctions last year, is now the top contender for state support for developing domestic gas turbines from scratch, what can make it a direct competitor to Siemens in Russia.
Artemyev: “Russians overpay for the majority of housing and utilities services more than 2 - fold”
At the beginning of last week, the energy community baffled a statement of the head of the FAS Igor Artemyev. In an interview with NTV, he said that the consumers of housing and utilities services in Russia overpay more than 100% of their costs for most of the positions, and the FAS intends to solve the existing problems with tariffs at the legislative level in the nearest future. Most specialist in energetics considered the statement of the head of the antimonopoly department provocative. At the end of the week, the Cabinet of Ministers ordered Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko to calm the sector.
Mutko commented on the words of the head of the FAS on the difference in housing and utility tariffs
Power plant over heaven
Last week, Peretok published a review of China’s ambitious plans for an orbital SPP development. The idea of creating power plants for solar energy collection in Earth’s orbit is almost 80 years old, but it still looks like absolute fantasy at the first glance. Indeed, the construction of such SPP in the coming years is hardly possible: one of the main technical obstacles is the absence of the technology of microwave energy transfer over long distances. However, the advantages of orbital SPPs are obvious: despite the unbiased difficulties, Chinese scientists expect to deploy an orbital SPP at an altitude of 36 thousand km in the 2040s.