Impact of RAO UES Split Rivals Lenin's 1920s "Electrifikatzia"

By Alexei Didevich, March 20, 2008

will be updated every three years to coordinate investment projects in the grids sector and the generation sector over the huge expanse of Russia. This is quite a task for the state. Second-most important in energy sector management is the Market Council, a self-regulating organization that will include representatives from all generation companies and major power consumers. The council will oversee the infrastructure of the energy sector, namely grid companies and the System Operator, the dispatcher of Russia’s unified energy system.

The Unified Energy System (UES) doesn’t cover the entirety of Russia: only the European part, Siberia and the territories beyond Lake Baikal. There are other Unified Energy Systems, in Sakhalin, Kamchatka, and the Magadan region, and a Unified Energy System of the Far East spreading from Yakutia to the Pacific.
Speaking of Yakutia, Russian Federation Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev recently took part in the launch of the third unit of the Svetlinskaya Power Plant (formerly Vilyuyskaya GES-3) near the Yakut city of Mirny. In his short speech, he said that the unit will ensure an inexpensive and constant power supply to the diamond and oil-and-gas industries of Yakutia, and in the long run will decrease the cost of fossil fuel extraction. “Most importantly, it will allow us to approach burning social issues in the North and in the entire country,” he said. Svetlinskaya Power Plant is the third hydropower plant on the Vulyuy River. It is the first and the only hydropower plant in a permafrost region. Its construction started in 1979, was held up in the mid-1980s, and was resumed after Alrosa, a local diamond company, became the power plant’s main shareholder in 1999. The first unit of the Svetlinskaya Power Plant was launched in September 2004. This story is worth mentioning because it seems typical; there are a lot of construction projects in Russia abandoned for reasons little to do with permafrost.

Nevertheless, the new energy companies are optimistic. “The end of RAO UES Russia is not the end of the world,” reassures Sergei Kozhemyako, TGK-11 General Director and the Siberian Energy Association’s President. He thinks that under the new conditions, there will be enough players in the market for the industry to stay competitive.