Century of the Far East Power Engineering

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The MAIN JOURNAL for POWER GRID SPECIALISTS in RUSSIA


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6

CENTURY OF THE FAR EAST 

POWER ENGINEERING

elec trical equipment, electri

fi

 cation 

of city infrastructure units and the 
industrial enterprises in the country 
the new sector of economy –
power engineering industry 
began to arise step by step. 
The 

fi

 rst electrical power plants 

began to appear in Moscow and 
St. Petersburg in the 1880`s when 

Museum

More than a century has passed since the time when on the Far East territory of 

Russia the 

fi

 rst electrical power plants were put into operation: the cities have lit 

up with the light of electrical street lamps and the 

fi

 rst trams have started to run 

up and down the streets. For  those years everything has happened in the power 

engineering sphere: shock-work construction, valiant labor, wars, recession and 

renewal… Today we remember how the history of power engineering from

the 

fi

 rst lokomobile to the modern HPP has been forming.

The origins of electrical 

power engineering in Russia 
are connected with the industrial 
revolution ending in late 70`s – 
early 80`s of the 19th century and 
with the beginning of the national 
economy modernization. As 
a result of the discoveries in the 

fi

 eld of electricity, development of 

Blagoveshchenskaya electrical power plant. 

Beginning of the 20th  century


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7

the Kremlin in Moscow and the 
Winter Palace in St. Petersburg 
were illuminated.

Electricity of the 

Tsarist-era

Approximately at the same 

time the 

fi

 

rst small power 

plants began to appear also in 
the Far East. The military and 
industrialists were the 

fi

 rst  who 

decided to illuminate their units. 
For that purpose they used 
lokomobiles and elementary ge-
nera tors, but its capacities were 
insuf

fi

 

cient for the whole city 

supply with electrical power. 

In October, 1906 start of the 

1st city power plant in the Far 
East, in Khabarovsk, took place. 
Owner of the large industrial 
enterprise “Arsenal” Simeon 
Vankov became the initiator of its 
construction. He developed the 
project of power plant by himself 
and ordered the equipment from 
Germany. Electrical power plant 
electric capacity was 120 kW, 
and very soon the plant started 
to illuminate apartments and 
several streets in Khabarovsk.

In Vladivostok works on con-

struction of the electrical power 
plant began only in the beginning 
of 1911. Unlike the Khabarovsk 
plant, electric capacity of the 

fi

 rst 

serious unit of power generation in 
Primorye was 1350 kW.

The contract on the power plant 

construction was signed with the 

Vladivostok of

fi

 ce of the Russian 

company “Universal electricity 
company”. Within the project two 
water pipe steam boilers by the 
system “Babcock and Wilcox“ 
and two turbine-type alternatives 
on three-phase current with the 
electric capacity of 675 kW  each 
were installed at the station. 
Suchansky Rudnik coal served as  
fuel for the station.

All necessary tests of the 

equipment of the power plant 
and electrical networks of the city 
had been completed by February, 
1912. Already on February 18, 
1912 the public Vladivostok city 
electrical power plant for general 
use was put into operation on 
the permanent mode. By June, 
1912 the station provided with 
electrical power 980 customers of 
Vladivostok.

The Era

of Convulsion

The 1st World War, the revo-

lution and the civil war resulted in 
pre-existing electrical power plants 
decline and it made the govern ment 
to shelve its plans on new units’ 
construction. Thus the Vladivos-
tokskaya electrical power plant 
number 1 had appeared to be in re-
ally horrible condition by the year of 
1920. Despite the municipal admin-
istration had installed a twin-ended 
boiler on the basis of “Gaine” sys-
tem the plant was not able to meet 
the city electrical power needs. As 
a result a great quantity of consum-
ers had to be switched to the pow-
er plant which supplied Far East-
ern state mechanical shipbuilding 
factory (now Dalzavod). 

Khabarovskaya
electrical power plant.
Beginning of the
20th  century

Extension of Vladivostok
electrical power network.
1916

Vladivostokskaya
electrical power plant. 
1920`s


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8

Nevertheless, in 1924 the new 

Soviet regime made a capital repair 
of all boilers and steam-turbines 
of the Vladivostokskaya electrical 
power plant #1 and also increased 
the plant capacity to 2775 kW.
Eventually by November 1924 the 
power consumers quantity reached 
the level of 4500 customers.

Stalin’s

Construction 

Sites

In 1920 the GOELRO plan was 

adopted in the country. It imposed 
the construction of 30 huge power 
plants with rated electric power of 
8.8 billion kilowatt hours annually in 
the period of 10-15 years. Despite 
the fact that 

fi

 rstly the plan seemed 

to be unachievable by the year 
1935 the USSR got the second 
place among the EU countries 
in the sphere of electrical power 
production.

The industrialization which 

had started in Lenin’s epoch also
leaded to the large-scale ground-
breaking of the power facilities in 
the Far East. As a result in 1930’s 
several electrical power plants were 
put into operation those like the
Khabarovsk public-service power 
plant, Artemovskaya SDPP, the 
Far East power plant of special 
purpose, the Yakutskaya CHP 
and the Amur shipbuilding factory 
power plant #199 (now the 
Komsomolskaya CHP).

In 1932 the reconstruction 

works at the Vladivostokskaya 
HPP #1 were completed. Three 
“Babcock and Wilcox” boilers 
and two “Bellis&Morcom” turbo-
alternators with the electric 
capacity of 3000 kW each were 
installed there. In 1935 turbo-
alternator with grounded collector 
type with the electric capacity of 
3000 kW was also installed and 
then the plant electric capacity 
became 11 000 kW.

One of the most famous among 

the Far East electrical power plants 
of the industrialization era was the 
Khabarovsk public-service power 
plant. Through to 1934 one plant 
was working for Khabarovsk with 
the capacity of 120 kW only, it was 
built in 1906. Produced electrical 
power was barely enough for 
house lighting and illumination 
of several streets so in 1931 the 
decision on Khabarovsk power 
plant erection was made. Initially it 
was planned that the station would 
be put into operation on the date 
con

fi

 ned to the Spring and Labour 

Day in 1932 but numerous design 
sophistications led to the delay 
of start till February of 1934. The 
overaged and the modern plants 
were included in one proprietorship 
called the Khabarovskaya CHP-2  
from the year 1960.

In 1937 in the city of Yakutsk 

the  Yakutskaya central electrical 
power plant was put into operation. 
Built under permafrost conditions it 
initially operated on burning coal and
the plant capacity was 2500 kW.

The Origin

of Regional

Power Grids

In 1930 the construction of the 

connections between electrical 
power plants began. It initiated the 
regional electric power networks 
formation. Further the power 
networks were transformed into 
region power grids. It was the 
Primorye region where the 

fi

 rst 

networks between electrical power 
stations started to appear.

In 1938 in Primorye the 110 kV 

high voltage transmission lines 
(HVTL) from Artemovskaya SDPP
to Vladivostok city was con-
structed and put into operation. 
Since its uprising the Primorye 
region power grid started its 
formation. In 1938 In Vladivistok 
the cable on the “Zolotoy Rog” bay 
bottom was led. That managed 
to put into parallel operation the 
Vladivostokskaya HPP #1 and 
electrical power plant “Fortress 
Electrical Point” with the electric 
capacity of 6000 kW located on 
Russky Island. During the same 
1938 the division on electrical 
networks build-operate-transfer 
and electricity distribution (elec-
tricity supply) to the customers 
was built. It assumed dispatching 
functions on electrical power 
plants and power grid operation 
in Primorye Region and con-
solidated it in a joint power grid 
“Dalenergo”.

Khabarovskaya electrical

power plant construction

1930`s

Transition through
the Eastern Bosphorus


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Rough War Time

The Great Patriotic War didn’t 

allow a regular power engineering 
development in the Far East. The 
main electrical power and heat 
consumers during the war were 
a great quantity of plants, working 
for defensive warfare.

In the time of war the cons-

truction of the only plant was 
started. It was the Chaunskaya 
CHP plant which has provided 
the most northern city of Russia 
Pevek with electrical power since 
that time till now. The station was 
put into operation in 1944 and its 
equipment was consisted partially 
of both captured and reparation 
aggregates made in Japan and 
Sweden and also of the details 
purchased in the USA. From 
the very 1948 the plant electric 
capacity has been about 3750 kW.

Power

Engineering

Industry

During the

Post-War Decade

In 1950’s a new power engi-

neering procurement cons truction 
in the Far East started. Some 
engineering site areas that had 
been frozen previously such as 
the Khabarovskaya CHP-1 and 
the Komsomolskaya CHP-1 were 
renewed.

In 1952 the Egvekinotskaya 

SDPP (the Chukotka Autonomous 
District) was put into operation. 
In 1953 at the Raychikhinskaya 
CHP the 

fi

 rst  turbo-alternator 

of 12 000 kW made contact. 
The plant became the 

fi

 rst  large 

power facility in the Amur River
region.

In 1954 3 plants at one blow 

were succeeded to put into 
operation – the Khabarovskaya 
CHP-1 (Khabarovsk region), the 
Suchanskaya CHP (Primorye) 
and the Arkhangelskaya SDPP 
(the Magadan Region). The last-
named allowed the gold mining 
increase in Kolyma. In 1956 in 
the same region the centralized 
electrical power networks (now 
called OJSC “Magadanenergo”) 
were organized by the Arka-
galinsky, Elgeno-Taskansky and 
Tenkinsky electrical power plants 
embodiment in one load center.  

In 1957 the similar central power 

grid appeared in the Khabarovsk 
region. The Khabarovskaya CHP-
1, the Komsomolskaya CHP-1, the 
Komsomolskaya CHP-2 and the
Khabarovskaya CHP-2 were 
turned into the structure of ap-
peared “Khabarovsk Energo”.

The Far East 

Large-Scale

Site 

А

reas

With a new decade advent 

the USSR government made 
a decision on a mass development 
of the Far East Economical 
District production capacity. The 
intensi

fi

 

cation of mechanical 

engineering, timber stockpiling, 

fi

 shery and shipping manufacturing 

required more energy inputs. As 
a result from 1961 till 1990 more 
than 20 huge energy site areas 
were put into operation and the 
radical engineering solutions were 
prepared for most of them.

The Magadanskaya CHP was 

the 

fi

 rst power facility put into 

operation that time. It started its 
operation in 1962. The necessity 
to wrestle the energy gap resulted 
in the construction of the plant 
2nd construction stage completion 
only 14 years later. Now the CHP 
is the largest CHP in the Magadan 
Region, its rated heat capacity is 
295 Gcal/h, the electrical capacity 
is 96 MW.

The Kamchatskaya CHP-1 

was put into operation on the 30 of 

Egvekinotskaya SDPP

Magadanskaya CHP


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May 1965; 5 turbines and 8 boiler 
units were installed there in the 
period from 1969 till 1979. At this 
stage its rated heat capacity is 
361 Gcal/h and installed electric 
capacity is 229 MW.

All-Union Komsomol construc-

tion of the Sakhalinskaya SDPP 
started in 1961 and it was the 
particular site area where the 
creation of the united power grid 
on the district territories started. 
It was put into operation in 1965, 
and in 1972 the unit reached the 
installed capacity. Today installed 
electric capacity of the plant is 
84 MW.

In 1960 another huge project – 

the Vilyuyskie HPP Cascade erec-
tion started. The 

fi

 rst construction 

stage building was carried out in 
permafrost zone and under rough 
climate conditions but in spite of 
everything it was 

fi

 nished in 1967. 

In 1976 the Viluyskaya HPP 2nd 
construction stage was complet-
ed. At this moment its aggregate 
electrical capacity is 680 MW. 
The appearance of a huge electri-
cal power plant in Yakutsk boreal 
forest allowed the government to 
develop actively the diamond in-
dustry, gold mining as well as fac-
tories and mines operation.

That year the Yakutskaya SDPP

was set up. Its construction was
started as early as in 1966 and 
the plant had to provide the 
Central power district of Yakutia 
and its capital Yakutsk with heat 
and electrical power. On the 10 of 
January 1970 the 

fi

 rst gas-turbine 

installation at the Yakutskaya 

SDPP was put into operation. 
In 1979 all the four 1st stage 
facilities were started up. The 8th 
and the last turbine was set up 
in 1985. Now the plant produces 
548 Gcal/h of heat capacity and 
368 MW of electric capacity.

In 1974 the 

fi

 rst  electrical 

power unit of the Primorskaya 
SDPP was put into operation. 
Today its rated electrical capacity 
is 1467 MW and the  heat one is 
237 Gcal/h. It allowed the plant to 
head the list among the Far East 
electrical power plants on the 
rated electrical capacity.  

Two years later the Blago ve-

shenskaya CHP construction was 
completed. Aside from providing 

enterprises and living houses with 
electrical power it became a key 
concern for the Amur educational 
institutions. 

In the same 1976 the 

fi

 rst 

electrical power unit of the Yuzhno-
Sakhalinskaya CHP-1 was set 
up. A year later the second boiler 
unit was set up and in 1978 the 
second turbo-alternator started 
its operation at the plant. The 5th 
and the last electrical power unit 
was set up in 2012. Today plant 
rated heat capacity is 671 Gcal/h 
and its rated electrical capacity is 
455 MW. 

Regional

Power Grids

Development

In 60’s the regional power 

engineering divisions creation in 
Kamchatka, Yakutia, Magadan and 
Sakhalin started. The possibility to 
control the construction of every 
new facility, electrical networks, 
and also dispatching control of 
those units were included to the 
functions of afore-mentioned 
divisions.

In 1962 the Regional Power 

Engineering Administration “Ya-
kutsk Energo” was formed. Initially 
its members were the Northern 

Sakhalinskaya SDPP.

Late 60`s – early 70`s

Vilyuyskaya HPP 
construction


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Electrical Networks, and further un-
der the supervision of the Admini-
stration the Western, the Central, 
the Viluyskie, the Yuzno-Yakutsk 
and the Nothern-East electrical 
networks turned up to be. In 1964 
on the basis of the “AlmazEnergo-
Set” enterprise the Western Elec-
trical Networks were organized. 
The Central Electrical Networks, 
the Yuuzno-Yakutsk Electrical Net-
works and Energosbyt Yakutsk-
Energo were organized in 1965.

In 1963 under auspices of 

the “SakhalinEnergo” regional 
electricity board the Sakhalin 
island power grid was organized. 

In addition, with a new dec-

ade beginning the active work 
on heating system introduction 
of the Far East cities started. In 
Vladivostok the heating enterprise 
was put into operation in 1961, 
and in 1964 on the “SakhalinEn-
ergo” regional electricity board 
order the Khabarovsk heat net-
works were formed. Another im-
portant event took place in 1968: 
the Far East Power Grid Interre-
gional Dispatching Of

fi

 ce – the 

IDO of the East was established. 
It consolidated previously isolat-
ed regional power grids under its
authority. 

In 1970 the Khabarovsk region

and the Amur River region power 
grids were integrated. Due to the 

35 kV HVTL with 2 substations 
and the HVTL Khabarovsk-
Birobidjan putting into operation 
the new regional power grid in 
the Jewish Autonomous Territory 
was completed. The same year 
the Khabarovsk-Raichikhinskaya 
SDPP 220 kV HVTL was put 
into operation. As a result of that 
line construction the Khabarovsk 
and the Amur power grids were 
integrated. That line brought 
a great possibility to provide 
Birobidjan, the south of the 
Jewish Autonomous Territory, 
the Teploozersky cement works 
and the Obluchie Region with 
electrical power.

Volcano

and Nuclear

Energy

Pauzhetskaya geothermal 

power plant (Kamchatka region) 
was put into operation as an 
experimental one in 1966. At 
this moment Pauzhetskaya geo-
thermal power plant is the oldest 
geothermal power plant in Russia. 
The power plant was constructed 
in the south-west of Kamchatka 
peninsula in Pauzhetka village. 
It uses geothermal steam of 
Koshelev and Kambalnov vol-
canos from 10 boreholes.

Pauzhetskaya geothermal power plant in winter

Team – the winner of socialist competition for the 1st electrical power unit

of Yuzhno-Sakhalinskaya CHP-1 putting into operation ahead of schedule. 1975


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At the beginning of exploitation 

station installed capacity was only 
5 MW. But, nevertheless, in 1980 
its installed capacity increased to 
11 MW. Now its installed capa-
city is 12 MW, and as a result the 
power plant provides electrical 
power to the following settlements: 
Ozernowskiy, Pauzhetka, Shum-
niy, Zaporozhie and also to numer-
ous 

fi

 shing industry factories.

In 1973 Bilibinskaya NPP, the 

fi

 rst world known transpolar NPP, 

was put into operation. Its 

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 rst 

reactor block was almost 50 times 
heavier than the similar reactor 
blocks in the world of that time.

Hydroenergetics 

of the Far East

In 1930`s for the 

fi

 rst  time 

power engineers turned to hydro 
potential power of the rivers of 
the Far East. In 1964 construction 
of one of the most large-scale 
HPP in Russia – Zeyskaya 
HPP started. Mentioned HPP 
became the 

fi

 rst power plant with 

diagonal hydroturbines. The HPP 
construction has been continuing 
for almost 21 years. Its capacity 
after putting it into operation 
(in 1985) was 1330 MW. Today 
annual average of electrical power 
output is 4910 million kWh. Area 
of water reservoir is 2419 square 
kilometers. 

Power

Engineering

Building in 

1980-1990`s

In 1980`s three plants were put 

into operation at the same time in 
the Far East. Due to the electrical 
power heavy de

fi

 cit and rough 

weather conditions some of them 
were erected within the advanced 
plan.

Kamchatskaya CHP-2 was 

put into operation in 1985. The 
CHP is in operation still,   and it is 
one of the most important plants 
for providing Kamchatka penin-
sula with electrical power. At 
the moment the CHP generates 
410 Gcal/h of heat capacity and 
160 MW of electrical capacity.

In 1985 Khabarovskaya CHP-3,

the heaviest CHP of the Khaba-
rovsk region power grid, was 
also put into operation. The 

fi

 rst 

elec trical power unit was put into 
operation in November, 1985, the 
second and the third ones were put 
into operation in 1986 and 1987
respectively. At the moment the
CHP capacity continues its increas-
ing: the last and the fourth electrical 
power unit was put into operation 
in 2006. The plant operating on 
burning coal and natural gas rated 
heat capacity is 1640 Gcal/h, the 
electrical capacity is 720 MW.

One year later, in 1986, Anadyr-

skaya CHP, the biggest CHP in 
the Chukotka region, was put into 
operation. The construction work 
on that plant was called “national 
construction”. Anadyrskaya CHP 
putting into operation allowed 
some boiler rooms closing and the 
smog level decreasing. Current 
characteristics of the plant are 
140 Gcal/h of heat capacity and 
56 MW of electrical capacity.

Already in the late 1980’s de-

cline of production in the region 
started. After that the crisis in al-
most all industry sectors emerged. 
The termination of state investment 
support, mass priva 

tization and 

state market collapse caused the 
displacement of the Far East from 
the interior markets of Russia. The 
Far East power engineering in dust-
ry also could not avoid the down-
fall. During 10 years only 2 power 
plants have been constructed in 
the region: Verkhne-Mutnovskaya 
geothermal power plant (Kamchat-
ka Region) and Noglikskaya SDPP 
(Sakhalin Region). 

In 1999 in the Russian Fe de ration 

a new geothermal power plant – 
Verkhne-Mutnovskaya geoPP
was put into operation. It is situated 
at the hillside of Mutnovsky volcano 
in the south-eastern part of Kam-
chatka peninsula. Total capacity of 
the power plant is 12 MW. In 2003 
in the same Mutnovsky geother-
mal reservoir the 1st construction 

Zeyskaya HPP at night


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the 4th electrical power units of
the Yuzhno-Sakhalinskaya CHP-1 
were put into operation. A bit later 
gas infrastructure development of 
the plant has been ful

fi

 lled.

In 2013 part-time set-up proce-

dure of Ust-Srednekanskaya HPP 
took place in the Magadan Region. 
Its installed capacity is 570 MW.

However, in 10’s of the new 

century the most important event
for the Far East power engineering 
industry became the decision of 
construction of four priority power 
engineering units: CHP in the 
city of Sovetskaya Gavan, the 
1st construction stage of the Sa -
kha linskaya SDPP-2, the 1st con-
struction stage of the Yakut skaya 
SDPP-2 and the 2nd construction 
stage of the Blagoveshchenskaya 
CHP. Special-purpose budgetary 
re sources for its erection of the 
amount of more than 50 billion 
rubles were given according to 
the Russian Federation President 
decree dated 2012 about the JSC 
“RusHydro” capitalization.

The new units will realize 

generating capacity gain, satisfy 
increasing demand for heat and 
electrical power, replace retired 
capacity of the operating CHP 
and SDPP and also create the 
additional capacity reserve and 
increase customers` power supply 
reliability. 

stage of Mutnovskaya geothermal 
power plant was erected. Today the 
installed capacity of Mutnovskaya 
geothermal power plant is 50 MW. 
Those two plants provide up to 30% 
of total electrical power consuming 
of Kamchatka load cen ter. That al-
lows to decrease suf 

fi

 ciently  the 

dependence of the Kamchatka pen-
insula from the ex pensive imported 
fuel oil. 

In addition, in 1999 in the Sa-

kha lin Region Noglikskaya gas
turbine power plant started ope-
rating. Its electrical capacity is 
48 MW now.

Reconstruction 

Step by Step

Along the beginning of 2000’s 

the Russian Federation entered 
a new development stage – the 
stage of reconstruction. Slowly but 
steadily the Far East power grid 
started the process of renovation. 

So, in 2003 the largest regional 

power plant – Bureyskaya HPP 
was put into operation. The plant 
construction work started already 
in 1976. The basic facilities erec-
tion started in 1984. Till 1988 the 
con struction went as planned, how -
ever in 1989 it was almost stopped 
due to the budget slash. After 
10 years, RAO UES assign to Bu-

rey  skaya HPP a status of the ma-
jor object for investments. As a re-
sult solemn ceremony of the HPP 
start up took place in July, 2003. 
The Russian Fede ration Pre sident 
Vladimir Putin pushed the “start” 
button within the ceremony as 
a symbolic act of HPP connection 
to the power grid. In October, 2009 
HPP achieved its installed capacity 
and since that time started to gene-
rate 7100 million kWh a year. 

It is planned that after the startup 

of Nizhne-Bureyskaya HPP with 
the installed capacity of 320 MW, 
both HPP will form Bureyskiy Cas-
cade of power plants.

In 2004 within the realization of 

the state program on reconstruction 
of power engineering industry and 
according to the Russian govern-
ment decree JSC “Rus Hydro” was 
founded. It has con tributed signi

fi

 -

cantly to the acceleration of the Far 
East power engi 

neering industry 

development.

Large-Scale 

Plans of a New 

Decade

The Far East power engineering 

industry continues its development 
in the beginning of a new decade. 
In 2012 and 2013 the 5th and 

Yakutskaya SDPP-2


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More than a century has passed since the time when on the Far East territory of Russia the first electrical power plants were put into operation: the cities have lit up with the light of electrical street lamps and the first trams have started to run up and down the streets. For those years everything has happened in the power engineering sphere: shock-work construction, valiant labor, wars, recession and renewal… Today we remember how the history of power engineering from the first lokomobile to the modern HPP has been forming.

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