Moscow, 14 March. Today, a 330 kV interconnection transmission line "Vladikavkaz-2 – Grozny-330 – Chiryurt" has been put into operation. The launch of this line completes the restoration of the Unified Energy System of Caucasus to its state prior to the start of military operations in the Republic of Chechnya. Besides, the restoration of the 330-kV HV line will significantly enhance stable performance of the Unified Energy System of the North Caucasus and considerably increase power supply reliability in Chechnya and Dagestan.
Before the hostilities began in Chechnya, Dagestan had had a stable and reliable connection to the Unified Energy System of Russia. When the line was destroyed, Dagestan found itself cut off from the UES. Until quite recently, the Republic had a single operating 330 kV interconnection line "Budennovsk – Chiryurt" having a length of over 400 km.
The total length of the 330-kV HV transmission line "Vladikavkaz-2 – Grozny-330 – Chiryurt" is 214.2 km, with 111 km located in the Republic of Chechnya.
Under Dudaev's regime, Chechnya's power infrastructure was nearly wiped out. The power transmission lines did not have a single kilometre of wire; most transmission towers were completely destroyed, and the few remaining ones were in need of serious repairs. The generating facilities were also in ruins, so were most transformer substations.
In these circumstances, RAO "UES of Russia" had to rebuild power supply in Chechnya virtually from scratch. The restoration was done not only by local power workers, but also by builders and installation teams from all over Russia. They were faced with considerable difficulties; there was constant danger, day and night. In the construction process, the power workers were repeatedly threatened by militants. Bandits mined transmission towers, fired on the power facilities and repair teams. During the restoration period, 62 workers were killed in the performance of their professional duties.
Despite the great difficulties encountered, RAO "UES of Russia" succeeded in restoring power supply to all vital infrastructure facilities and population centres of the Republic. The first supplies of electricity to Chechnya from Stavropolsky Kray started back in November 1999. From November 1999 to December 2002, the energy workers reconstructed 7,542.7 km of power transmission lines, 74 high-voltage substations, and 1,810 low-voltage transformers.
They also restored the facilities of the Urus-Martan, Gudermes, Nadterechny, Nozhay-Yurt district power networks, buildings of the local electricity sales unit, "Energosbyt", several workshops of the production and repairs company, "Nurenergo", which produce different kinds of metal structures on request of power network enterprises. A workshop for repair of transformers and electric motors will soon be put into operation.
The work done by RAO "UES of Russia" has made it possible to meet the ever-increasing consumer demand for electricity in Chechnya. In 2000, electricity consumption in the Republic was 494 million kWh, in 2001 it was 792 million kWh, and in 2003, 917 million kWh. Total electricity consumed in the Republic from 31 October 1999 to 31 December 2002 amounted 2,240 million kWh. The increase in electricity consumption is a clear evidence that normal life is being restored in Chechnya and that factories start operation.
Today, RAO "UES of Russia" makes it a priority to resume power generation in Chechnya so as to meet the local industry's need for electricity and industrial steam. After a trial run on 15 December 2002, a boiler unit with a steam output of 50 t/h was put into operation ahead of schedule at Argunskaya CHPP-4. The second 50 t/h boiler and a 6 MW turbine generator are scheduled for launch in 2003. When the power plant begins to operate at full capacity (18 MW), it will ensure heat and electricity supply to the production and social facilities of Argun's industrial area, including the house-construction plant, sugar mill, "Pischemash" food equipment factory, meat plant, and some other enterprises, which will help create 3 thousand additional jobs.
The energy workers' primary goal is to ensure reliable power supply to consumers by creating standby power facilities. To achieve that goal, in 2003 RAO "UES of Russia" plans to complete restoration of the main 110 kV distribution substation (GRP-110) of 50 MVA transformer capacity, which will enhance reliability of power supply to consumers in the east of the Republic and Grozny. To date, the construction work has been completed, and the basic equipment is being installed.
Besides, it is planned to restore 154 km of high-voltage transmission lines, 900 km of distribution lines, and 500 transformer units, ensuring that these facilities operate at the design parameters.
The design work for the 330 kV substation in Grozny is also planned to be completed this year.
OAO "Nurenergo" has been established to provide maintenance to the new power grid infrastructure. The company consists of three Power Network Companies (PNCs) and twelve District Power Networks (DPNs). In order to ensure normal operation of OAO "Nurenergo", in 2003 it is necessary to build production facilities for the PNCs and OAO "Nurenergo" with dispatching centres and telecommunications facilities.