Why Ulan-Ude almost ran out of heat
On December 23, the authorities of Buryatia declared a state-of-the-art emergency regime after a fire at CHP-1 with a capacity of 136 MW in Ulan-Ude. This was reported by the press service of the regional government. The fire wiring as a result of a short circuit occurred around 3.30 local time and was put out around 6am. But as a result, according to an operational summary of the TGC-14 power company, which owns the station, the hot water temperature was reduced for 791 homes (out of 2,500 in Ulan-Ude), 71 schools, 37 preschools and 29 medical facilities.
At 10:53 local time, the emergency response headquarters announced the disconnection of heating in 550 apartment buildings, as well as in 455 residential buildings in the private sector and 91 social facilities. Residents of most of the city’s Chyhunachny district fell into the exclusion zone. The average daily temperature in the city, according to THC-14, at the time of the incident was -25 degrees.
According to the regional management of the TFR, the fire resulted in the shutdown of four heating boilers CHP and turbine generator. Three boilers remained in operation, including one backup (involved due to the accident). The UK opened a case under Part 1 of Art. 217.1 of the Criminal Code “Violation of security requirements for fuel and energy facilities”. According to investigators, the fire happened due to a violation of security requirements. The damage has so far been estimated at 1 million rubles.
The issue of CHP-1 was also raised at the final press conference of President Vladimir Putin. He promised to “find out”. “Right now, after the press conference, I will find out what is happening there and what needs to be helped,” Putin told a journalist from Buryatia.
Due to the emergency, the head of Buryatia Sergei Tsydenov was forced to return to the city from a working trip to Syria. “Voltage was applied to the boilers in the previous order. A scheme of parallel power supply is being developed, but it will take some time to eliminate the accident. I think we will get through this situation soon, ”Tsydenov said on December 23.
This is not the first serious accident at the TGC-14 power plant, which has a generation in Buryatia and Transbaikalia. In June 2020, CHP-1 due to damage to the machine in the switchboard pump was smoke at the treatment plant of the chemical plant of the station. But then the incident did not affect the supply of hot water. And in December 2019 in Chita kindergarten and 20 homes were left without heating due to a break in the heating main, which is served by TGC-14. The company completed the replacement of 4 meters of worn-out heating main on the same day.
TGC-14 owns seven coal-fired power plants with a total capacity of almost 650 MW, thermal – 3120.8 Gcal. In the first half of 2021, the company’s revenue under IFRS amounted to 67.4 billion rubles., Net profit – 422.5 million rubles.
TGC-14 is the smallest generating asset allocated from the UES of Russia in the reform process. In 2008, Russian Railways entered the capital of the energy company through its “daughter” Energopromzbyt, buying 49.2% of the state-owned stake and additional issue for 62.2 billion rubles. At the time of the purchase, RZD had no backup electricity suppliers for the Eastern landfill (BAM and Transsiba), but after the implementation of a number of energy investment programs, the asset became non-core, explained in 2016 the then Deputy General Director of the monopoly Andrei Starkov. He added that there is another problem: compliance with the law on electricity, which prohibits the combination of generation and transmission of energy (Russian Railways also has the grid assets it needs to power highways and suburbs. – “Gazette”).
The last few years RF has been unsuccessfully trying to get rid of THC-14. The company owns 39.8% of TGC-14 through Energopromzbyt, which is controlled by it, according to SPARK-Interfax. The leaders of the company founded by RZD NPF “Welfare” (now in the monopoly blockchain) own another 47, 5%, wrote in September 2021, the newspaper “Kommersant”. In March 2021, Deputy Director General of the monopoly Alexander Plutnik confirmed to reporters that the consolidated package of RF and “Welfare” is about 90%. “This time RZD and NPF intend to sell a consolidated stake,” he said. He cited the end of 2021 as a benchmark for exiting the asset.
In 2019-2020. The Russian Auction House (RAD) sold TGC-14 shares, but without success. The last auction was announced on December 28, 2020 with a starting price of 16 billion rubles. and the minimum – 73.16 million rubles., Clarified with “Vedomosti” representative of the Council. “The auction did not take place, now the council has no instructions to sell this object,” she added.
In September 2021, TGC-14 again tried to sell, and the assets, according to “Kommersant”, was interested in SVEK Andrei Melnichenko. But the sale did not take place, there are no applications for the asset, according to a source in the “Vedomosti”, familiar with the collection of applications. Another interlocutor in one of the energy companies says that SVEK was interested in the asset, but refused the deal (he did not explain the reasons).
In December, at a briefing, RF First Deputy General Director Vadim Mikhailov told reporters that the monopoly “continues to structure the deal” to sell its stake in TGC-14. “According to TGC-14, there are several shareholders. There are no difficulties, it’s just a matter of time, ”he said.
Representatives of NPF “Dobrabyt” and Russian Railways declined to comment.
Vasily Milkin took part in the preparation of the article