The Siberian Inter-regional Distribution Grid Company, a subsidiary of Russian Grids JSC, has turned the power on at the 110 kV Butuntai substation in Zabaykalsky Krai. This is just one of the projects in a long-term partnership programme between the energy company and its Chinese partners.
The Butuntai substation is necessary for launching the Baikalrud company’s (a Russian company with 100% foreign capital) mining and refining facility. Previously, ore that was mined in Zabaykalsky Krai was shipped for processing to China. After the refining facility is commissioned, the primary processing will be conducted in Russia and will manufacture zinc and led concentrates. The refining facility will be able to output 0.6 million tonnes of ore per year during its initial stage. The State Committee for Mineral Reserves has already determined that the Noyon-Tologoyskiy mine contains over 12 million tonnes of ore. However, geologic surveying at the site will continue until 2016. Mining this deposit will create new jobs and will subsequently become a source of contributions to budgets at various levels, thereby improving the socio-economic situation and the livelihood for the residents in Zabaykalsky Krai.
In December of last year, Russian Grids completed the construction and renovations of 36km of 110 kV overhead power lines that connected the refining facility with the power grid in Zabaykalsky Krai. In the coming months, automated emergency response systems will be commissioned at the substation, after which it will undergo a gradual load increase. Over 531 million roubles have been invested into this project.
Connecting the facility to the power grids is one of the projects within the long-term partnership programme between Russian Grids and China. The future of the partnership was discussed at a meeting between Russian Grids General Director Oleg Budargin and Chinese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in Russia Li Huey at the beginning of April.
According to the head of Russian Grids Oleg Budargin, Zabaykalsky Krai could become the starting point from where joint projects will develop further. The krai was chosen because of its rich mineral and raw material resources and its proximity to Asian markets, which makes it attractive for foreign investors. At the present time, Russian Grids is examining possible options of scientific and technological partnerships with China within the energy sector.
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