Vladimir Putin had a working meeting with Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller to discuss the readiness of the national energy system for the winter period.
The Russian-Ukrainian cooperation in the energy sector was discussed separately.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues,
I would like to discuss several issues with you. The first one is the operation of the energy sector in winter.
As you know and as you can see, there have been breakdowns at the regional level, unfortunately, and this creates many problems for the people living there.
I will speak with the heads of these regions later, but now I would like to hear your reports on how the big energy fares and how it works in winter. Winter has come almost everywhere across the country.
The second issue: you have probably noticed that yesterday I had a telephone conversation with the President of Ukraine, and it was mainly on our relations in the energy sector. I would like to talk to you about this.
Energy Minister Alexander Novak: Mr President,
Preparations for the autumn and winter are being made year-round, and it is the most important part of our work.
As of today, heating is definitely on in all regions. The Energy Ministry is constantly monitoring the process and interacting with all the companies.
We are supervising 900 facilities in the power industry: about 400 power plants with a capacity of more than 25 megawatts (thermal power plants, hydroelectric power plants, and nuclear power plants) and about 500 grid facilities. The largest company, of course, is Rosseti.
All major backbone companies have been winterised and obtained their winter certificates. On November 15, we reviewed preparations for the winter, put together the necessary material and technical resources, fuel reserves, and started a repair and maintenance campaign which is 99 percent complete as of today.
About 50,000 stand-by power supply sources have been created to cover process failures. We also cleaned up forest corridors as scheduled.
This year, as much as 7,700 megawatts of power will go online, which will help us upgrade fixed assets and, of course, increase reliability.
Vladimir Putin: As compared to last year?
Alexander Novak: Last year, it was around 4,000 megawatts.
Vladimir Putin: And now?
Alexander Novak: Almost twice as much, 7,700 megawatts. Of course, this is a major achievement. We would also like to thank you for supporting the mechanism that allows us to raise investment in the power industry.
We have introduced 30,000 megawatts of capacity through this mechanism in the past seven years. Today, in accordance with your instruction and the Executive Order, a comprehensive infrastructure upgrade programme is underway which will allow us, within a decade, to attract investment of about 2 trillion rubles for upgrading generating equipment that has been in service for many years and is now worn out. This will allow us to replace fixed assets.
We are focusing particularly on Crimea, Kaliningrad, the Irkutsk power system, which was hit by the flood, and the Far Eastern Federal District. Here, we are working case-by-case with the regions and regional headquarters.
We do not have any problems right now with regard to our main electric power facilities, the grid complex, or the generating complex. Preparations went off as scheduled.
Of course, we do this work on a daily basis and monitor the situation. In case of process failure, we, in conjunction with the companies, do our best to restore energy supply as soon as possible.
Winter has already set in and in some regions, for example the Tver Region, the weather is pretty bad. Winter preparations substantially reduced the time needed for restoration following power system disturbances.
As for individual facilities, some thermal power plants are short of coal and heating oil in the Irkutsk Region and the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic. We are helping these regions and their companies acquire the necessary reserves.
Winter has just arrived…
Vladimir Putin: What about Murmansk?
Alexander Novak: The power outages in Murmansk were due to bad weather. But this happens every autumn and winter. That said, our companies quickly restored the power. We do not have any problems with emergency repair teams or material or technical resources. They can be mobilised in no time and energy distribution is promptly restored, for residential consumers first.
Vladimir Putin: (Addressing Alexei Miller.) What about your company?
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller: Mr President,
Preparing for the autumn-winter season, we conducted eleven sets of planned pre-emptive repairs at gas supply facilities and networks. About 72,232 million cubic metres of gas have been pumped into underground storage facilities.
Daily capacity at the beginning of the withdrawing period totalled 843 million cubic metres of gas per day. This is a historical record – 31 million cubic metres a day more than during the previous autumn-winter period.
The unified gas supply system is ready for the autumn-winter season, and the required gas reserves have been amassed.
Vladimir Putin: Good.