Alstom has pulled off a major busines coup with the signing on 9 December of strategic agreements with the largest Russian energy companies to jointly provide power generation products and services for Russia’s power industry in the fields of thermal, nuclear and hydropower generation, and electricity transmission. Alstom’s strategy is to become a key partner for Russian infrastructure development through these agreements.

Russia’s government intends to increase hydropower by 60% by 2020 and double it by 2030. It has also launched a new nuclear programme with six large reactors under construction and seven replacement plants planned. Ten reactors totaling at least 9.8 GW are to be installed by 2016 and a further 21.7 GW by 2020. The government also intends to focus on improving energy efficiency by the retrofitting, retirement and replacement of its existing fleet of thermal power plants.

In the field of thermal power generation, Alstom Power and Inter Rao UES, which has a number of generation and distribution assets in Russia and abroad, have signed an MoU to to jointly provide industrial products and services for the country’s power industry, including the installation of new instrumentation and control systems as well as site security system, and the production of small steam turbine packages for power and CHP applications. The MoU also covers co-operation over new and repowered steam plant installations, and for combined cycle applications and associated equipment (boilers, turbines, environmental protection systems, and power automation and controls) operating at supercritical (and above) steam conditions.

There is also an agreement with Mosenergo, a subsidiary of Gazprom, the largest extractor of natural gas in the world and the largest Russian company, to develop combined cycle power technologies, supply integrated power island solutions for thermal plants and modernise and repower Mosenergo’s fleet; and with Rostechnologii, a specialist in the production and supply of Russian high-tech material and equipment, to supply coal-fired power plants with Alstom’s steam plant technology and Rostechnologii’s boiler circulating pumps (BCP).

Alstom and RusHydro JSC, Russia’s biggest hydropower company, have agreed to jointly exploit opportunities in the booming Russian hydropower industry, under four main headings: :Reconstruction and modernisation of the Kubanski cascade complex in southern Russia (including installation of new instrumentation and control); co-operation for the development of hydropower activities generally and in in areas of R&D and investment; and local manufacturing of hydropower equipment in the Republic of Bashkortostan.

In the field of nuclear power generation, Alstom Power and the Russian regulator, state atomic energy corporation Rosatom, have under the 2007 joint venture Alstom-Atomenergomash (AAEM), signed several new agreements to further support Russia’s growing nuclear energy market.

One MoU details plans to set up a local facility to manufacture Alstom’s Arabelle nuclear steam turbines, the most powerful steam turbines available, as well as STs for fossil fuel applications. A second MoU with the Inter Rao UES – Worley Parsons (IRWP) joint venture was signed to establish an engineering consortium to jointly design turbine islands for Russia’s VVER reactor-based nuclear power plants.

In the field of T&D, Alstom Grid and OAO FSK EES, the federal operator of Russia’s unified grid system, have signed an agreement to establish an Alstom Grid – FSK research co-operation in the Skolkovo technology zone of Moscow, focusing on a variety of tasks intended to increase the efficiency, reliability and security of the grids. This builds on an earlier industrial and technology co-operation agreement for the modernisation of the Russian electrical grid through improved local production and the introduction of advanced “Smart Grid” technologies. The companies have also begun studying options for the localisation of the production of Alstom Grid equipment including HV and UHV power transformers, gas and air-insulated substations,HVDC, Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS), and automation solutions.