New generation for BAM and Transsib will be built by “Inter RAO” by 2028

The Government Commission on Energy has decided to appoint “Inter RAO” as the organization that will implement the project for the construction of a thermal power station for the energy supply of the Bodaibinsky District of the Irkutsk Region. This power plant is necessary, among other things, for the expansion of the Eastern Polygon of the Russian Railways (BAM and Transsibe). This was reported to “Vedomosti” by a representative of Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Novak, who supervises the Fuel and Energy Industry. The power of the TPP will be from 445 to 550 MW, the interlocutor specified.

On August 2, the press service of the government reported that the technical requirements for the construction of a new power plant were defined as a result of the executive committee meeting. In the release, it was noted that it will be built “mainly with the use of domestic equipment”, it should be put into operation in 2028.

The tender for the construction of the power plant was planned to be held last year, but it was postponed and was held from February 28 to March 1, 2022. Then the tender was not held due to the lack of applications, reported “System Operator of the UES” (dispatcher of the power system of the Russian Federation). Its conditions provided for the construction of a 450–500 MW thermal power plant or a 450 MW hydroelectric power plant. Commissioning of capacity was planned for July 2027.

The power plant is necessary to “cover the projected power deficit” in the Bodaibinsky district, says Novak’s representative. As “Vedomosti” wrote, in addition to the expansion of BAM, new energy capacity may also be needed by the gold-mining “Polyus” with the “Sukhoi Log” project in the Bodaibinsky district and the Irkutsk Oil Company (INC), which is implementing a gas project in the region worth 450 billion rubles. on the basis of Yaraktinsky and Markovsky deposits.

Initially, it was about conducting a technologically neutral tender for the construction of 456 MW for the Bodaibinsky district. That is, the investor could enter it with any technology, including renewable energy, hydropower or laying new power grids from existing generation. In addition to “Inter RAO” with a gas-fired power plant, En+ with a project to build the Telmam hydroelectric power station on the Mamakan River with a capacity of 450 MW (the cost was estimated at $1.1–1.2 billion) and SUEK with a coal-fired thermal power plant showed interest in participating in the tender.

But the Ministry of Energy proposed to set the condition of construction for Bodaibo specifically for thermal generation, refusing to build a hydroelectric power station as a more technically complex project with a long implementation period (“Vedomosti” wrote about it on October 22, 2021). A source familiar with the course of the discussions told Vedomosti at the time that the conditions were actually developed for the SUEK project.

Earlier, the experts of “VTB Capital” estimated the capital costs for the construction of a TPP with a capacity of 450 MW at 60-65 billion rubles. But now, according to the estimates of the managing director of the NRA rating service Sergey Grishunin, they will grow by 20-30% and amount to about 72-85 billion rubles. “Many foreign components of turbines and equipment will now have to be purchased through intermediaries (due to sanctions. – “Vedomosti”) with markups or made independently,” he explains. Annual payments from the energy market in favor of the new TPP will amount to, according to his estimates, 17–21 billion rubles.

“Appointment of “Inter RAO” [инвестором] in the situation of the near-mobilization economy, it is logical, since the state company is tasked with promptly implementing an important infrastructure project,” says Grishunin. He adds that the turbines for the TPP will probably be domestic: either from Rostec United Engine Construction Corporation (GTD-110 model), or GTE-170 or GTE-65 from Power Machines.

“Vedomosti” sent a request to “Inter RAO”.

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