SIMFEROPOL, June 25, /ITAR-TASS/. Crimea has begun making design plans for building power plants to increase its own power generation to 600-800 MW in the next two and a half years, Crimea’s acting Head Sergei Aksyonov said on Wednesday, June 25.
“We have begun making design plans for increasing our power generation capacities working on natural gas from the current level of 160 MW to 600-800 MW by building new plants in the next two and a half years,” he said.
He said this would require about 45 billion roubles.
The Russian authorities have provided Crimea with more than 1,070 mobile power generators with a combined capacity of 265 MW to ensure its energy security and deal with possible emergencies. The republic is also building 13 mobile gas-turbine power plants, each capable of generating 22.5 MW of electricity.
The construction of new power generation capacities for Crimea will cost about 90-100 billion roubles, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said earlier.
“On the average, we think that it will cost 1,500-2,000 U.S. dollars to build one kW of generation capacities. So 1,320 MW may cost 90-100 billion roubles at the current exchange rate,” the minister said.
He said natural gas for power generation in Crimea might come from the South Stream gas pipeline to pass by along the Black Sea bottom.
“These will most likely be power plants working on the gas which is extracted here in Crimea and the gas which can be taken from South Stream,” he said.
Crimea’s gas producing company Chernomorneftegaz plans to extract over two billion cubic metres of gas in 2014, which is 15% more than the peninsula needs, the CrimeaInform news agency said.
In 2013, Crimea consumed 1.65 bmc of gas, which matched Chernomorneftegaz’ production volumes.
Crimea needs to develop traditional energy production, not build a nuclear power plant, Pavel Ipatov, Deputy Director-General of the Rosenergoatom Company, told ITAR-TASS.
“There are no ready projects for building nuclear power plants there and it would be premature to speak about that now. I would even say pointless,” he said.
Ipatov recalled that in Soviet times there had been a project to build two 1,000 MW nuclear units in Crimea. The first unit was almost 90% finished and things went so far that even nuclear fuel was brought in so that the reactor could start operating at in the early 1990s. “However, now this site is in such condition that it cannot be restored. We have gone far ahead from the technologies that existed in the 1960s when the station was designed… and sometimes it is much more economically justified to build a new project than restore an old one,” Ipatov said.
“The approaches and solutions used in modern projects are more progressive in terms of security and cost efficiency. Therefore there should be a very serious argument in order to consider building a nuclear power plant in Crimea today,” he said.
In his opinion, Crimea should focus on developing alternative energy generation using the power of wind and sun. “This was done in Soviet times too, and one of the first solar power stations was operated in Crimea,” he said and observed at the same time that the cost of such generation would be dozens of times higher than that of traditional forms, which makes “their commercial construction unlikely”.
Ipatov believes that traditional power plants will most likely be built instead. “We will see by the end of this year what kind of decisions will be made to improve power supply in Crimea,” he added.
Crimea may join Russia’s integrated energy system, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a government meeting, which was held in Simferopol in late March and focused on the socioeconomic development of Crimea and Sevastopol.
“It is vitally important to ensure reliable and independent electricity supplies to the whole of Crimea and supply fuel to the power industry. One option is for Crimea to join the Russian integrated energy system across the Kerch Strait or to build its own generation capacities,” Medvedev said, adding that both options would be considered.
“In the event of any critical situation we can always provide alternative sources of power supply, primarily for socially important facilities,” he said, referring to mobile gas turbine power plants and other options.