The President launched first stage of power bridge to Crimea 2015-12-02 23:20:00 Simferopol Vladimir Putin participated in the launch of the first stage of a power bridge to Crimea. The ceremony was held during a visit to the Krymenergo company in Simferopol. Crimea lost all electricity on the night of November 22, when pylons carrying power lines from Ukraine were blown up. The power bridge, which is being laid from Krasnodar Territory across the bottom of the Kerch Strait, will eliminate the peninsula’s dependency on imported electricity. * * * President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, we have an important event today: we are beginning work to connect the Crimean peninsula to Russia’s unified energy system. The people present here, behind me and in front of me, are your teams, and each of you has done a great deal of work to ensure that Crimea has reliable electricity supply. We have built more than one hundred kilometres of high-voltage electric cables and today, we are connecting the first power line. As you recall, Crimea used to receive 800 megawatts of electricity from Ukraine. Four power lines that should be completed by December 20 will also provide just over 800 megawatts. And after this, it is imperative to add generation capacity as quickly as possible. In 2017, we will supply gas to Crimea from the Caucasus, and by the end of 2017, we should complete construction of a thermal power station that will provide an additional 470 megawatts. By 2018, we will add two more units and another 470 megawatts, so Crimea will have generation capacity that will allow it to not only supply everything it has today, all the consumers, but will also have a significant development resource that it will be able to use to supply households, recreation sphere and all prospective areas of development in its economy. The work that has been done is truly extensive. I want to thank you all because we planned for the first power line to be launched on December 20, but instead we are launching it today. Of course, we used a great deal of new equipment in this project, so we will probably need to make additional adjustments. And we must warn consumers – Crimean residents – that some additional disruptions are possible. But overall, the first power line should be working and providing 200 megawatts of electricity. I hope that the second power line will be launched on December 20, as we agreed, or perhaps even a little earlier, around December 15, providing 400 megawatts in total. I ask Energy Minister Alexander Novak to report on the course of the work and what should happen in the immediate future in terms of consumption. Energy Minister Alexander Novak: Mr President, following your instructions in April 2014, we developed an energy supply plan for the Crimean Federal District. This plan stipulates, as you just said, the construction of two power stations: one in Sevastopol providing 470 megawatts, and a second one in Simferopol, providing 470 megawatts, with a total provision of 940 megawatts of electricity and a completion date in 2017 or 2018. The second area is connecting the Crimean energy system to the Kuban energy system and the unified Russian energy system, by laying four underwater cable lines, each of which supplies 220 kilovolt with a capacity of 200 megawatts; that’s 800 megawatts in total along the bottom of the Kerch Strait. This also includes construction of two new substations: the Taman substation with a capacity of 500 kilovolt and 220 kilovolt in its first stage, and the Kafa substation, which is a brand new station. In addition, there will be over 500 kilometres of high-voltage energy lines: 220 kilovolt and higher. As you just said, indeed, our deadlines were very tight, but at the same time, we delivered the first 400 megawatts by December and the next 400 megawatts will be delivered in May 2016. Given the situation we had at the end of November, with no electricity being supplied by the Ukrainian system, a decision was made to apply all necessary measures to accelerate the construction of a second power line of 200 megawatts and the 400 megawatts planned for launch in December of this year. And thanks to the builders that are here today and to our energy experts, this work was carried out and today we are ready to launch the first facilityand connect the Kuban energy system with the Crimean energy system, uniting the Crimean energy system with the unified Russian energy system for the first time in history and providing 200 megawatts in capacity. To do this, we completed work to construct the Taman substation under very tight deadlines, and built four underwater lines for the first power line – we are laying cables and putting them into operation. We reconstructed cells at the Kamysh-Burun station, and implemented connectors within the existing Slavyanskaya-Vyshestebliyevskaya line, which allow for a power supplyfrom a single energy system. That is the first stage. By the end of December – December 20, or perhaps, in accordance with the goal you set, we will be able to finish earlier, we will certainly try – we will provide another 200 megawatts, launching the Kafa substation, as well as the second line: an underwater cable connection of 200 megawatts and an electricity transmission line from Kamysh-Burun to Kafa with connectors to the existing substation in Feodosia. This will provide another 200 megawatts. Mr President, today we have already checked the state of our energy system’s preparedness; we have been in touch with the Taman substation, the Kamysh-Burun substation, the transfer points in Crimea and Taman, where our cable comes out of the water, and we are now ready to give the dispatcher ordersto connect consumers following your command. Vladimir Putin: Just a second, let’s look at how we will distribute this new electricity throughout the peninsula. Alexander Novak: If I may report, Mr President: from the moment that consumers are connected, literally today, we will be able to provide capacity of about 100 megawatts out of the first 200 megawatts that will allow us to deliver electricity – through the underwater cable. I believe we will get the following 100 megawatts within the next 24 hours. Currently, we have specificities in the use of the energy system. In order to complete the initial run and provide a reliable electricity supply, the first day’s work will focus on a dedicated power grid, and the electricity will primarily go to consumers in the eastern part of Crimea: in Kerch, Feodosia and about 180 communities with a total consumption of about 120 megawatts. At the same time, in gaining capacity up to 200 megawatts, we will need to provide additional electricity capacity over the next several days to the entire Crimean energy system, including the districts in the central, northern and southern part. As a result, it is imperative for us to determine how these 200 megawatts will be allocated within the next 24 hours, in order for it to be fair in terms of electricity provision and supplying electricity to consumers. Vladimir Putin: We will ask the head of Crimea. Mr Aksyonov, what is the best way to do this? Should we concentrate the electricity supply in a particular district – or two or three – or distribute it evenly throughout Crimea? Sergei Aksyonov: Mr President, with your permission, I would like to distribute this resource throughout all of the Republic of Crimea’s municipalities evenly. That would be fair: people are truly all in the same situation. I want to pass on their words of enormous gratitude, respect and love for you personally. The Crimean people value you and believe in you, so they knew that you would not leave them helpless. I always say: when there is a leader and administrator like you, we know that he will support us. They believe in and are proud of their nation, Russia. So my suggestion, Mr President, if you support it, is to distribute this resource evenly. Vladimir Putin: Evenly, but we need to obtain and supplement the remaining 200 megawatts as quickly as possible. (Addressing to Alexander Novak.) As you said, this will take 24 hours. I remind you again that we will need another 200 megawatts by December 15–20. Alexander Novak: Plus another 200, for a total of 400 megawatts. Vladimir Putin: And in May, I will ask you to do this as quickly as possible as well, by the beginning or even ahead of the summer season – to have another 400 megawatts. Thus, we will replace electricity supply from Ukraine in full, completely, providing even a little more than needed. Of course, we also need to synchronise this with the gas suppliers and thermal power station builders in order to provide additional power generation to Crimea by 2017. Alexander Novak: Very well, Mr President. In accordance with your decision, when increasing capacity to 200 megawatts in 24 hours, all this electricity will be distributed evenly to consumers within the territory of the Crimean Federal District. Vladimir Putin: Let’s begin our work. Launch of first stage of the power bridge to Crimea. Vladimir Putin: I would like to once again point out that a great deal of new equipment is being used and we must avoid being rattled if there are disruptions. Instead, we must calmly, steadily bring it back to order, bring everything back to a normal state, but ideally do this quickly – so that people feel a change for the better. I want to once again thank all the electrical engineers and builders for what has been done, as well as the leadership of Crimea and Sevastopol– for connecting the electrical supply and working directly with people. The work is far from finished, and there are many stages in this work ahead. I assume that everything will be done in accordance with the timeline that we discussed, and at the highest level of quality. Congratulations, and thank you. <…> Mr Aksyonov, please thank the Crimean people once again for their patience, and for believing in us, in all of us. Head of the Republic of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov: They are ready to withstand the challenges. We are even receiving phone calls from people saying, “We don’t need any handouts from Ukraine.” Vladimir Putin: We never took any handouts from anyone. But this will be a reliable system connected to Russia’s main power grid, and Crimea will have its own power generation system in 2017–2018 that can provide more than it received from Ukraine. So we will provide opportunities for Crimea’s economic development for at least the medium-term future. Sergei Aksyonov: Thank you very much, Mr President. Vladimir Putin: Thank you to the Crimean people.