Tatarstan oil companies invest in wind power — RealnoeVremya.com
The republic will develop renewable energies on the basis of a public-private partnership
The special operation in Ukraine froze wind farm construction projects in Tatarstan that were close to the finish line. Instead of Italian Enel, Danish Vestas and Finnish Fortum, Turkish and Chinese companies announced their intentions. However, Tatneft has unexpectedly become a flagship of green energy, not only will it build 12 MW wind farms in the south-east of the republic, but also, as Realnoe Vremya found out, sell electricity. electrical energy in the wholesale market and facing import substitution – manufacturing wind turbine blades.
The Europeans refused, the Chinese and the Turks are in
The use of wind energy is a highly sought-after field of electricity generation in the world, it is growing at around 30% per year and is widely used in European countries and the United States. Tatarstan announced its intention to seriously tackle green energy several years ago. Companies are already at the finish line, but the special operation in Ukraine has suspended the construction of wind farms in the republic – foreign investors are starting to leave.
Due to the sanctions, the Italian energy company Enel froze an almost ready project for a capacity of 71 MW in the Chistopol district. Denmark’s Vestas – a technology partner in the Wind Power Development Fund controlled by Finnish energy group Fortum – declined to cooperate further. The company announced the exit from the Russian market as early as May and must conclude the agreement on the sale of assets in the country until July 1.
Tatneft has unexpectedly expressed a desire to create its own green generation. Starting exploration later than other companies, the company signed an agreement to build wind power plants with Rekoinvestment representing the Russian-Sino consortium Ural Wind Architects. Therefore, equipment for wind turbines from the Chinese company Harbin Electric Corporation Wind Power will be supplied to Tatarstan.
The Turks have also shown interest and an agreement with the Turkish VTK Global, which wants to build several wind power plants in the republic, has been signed. It is therefore hoped that Turkish and Chinese investors will replace the Europeans. This is what the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Tatarstan confirmed to our newspaper.
“The construction of wind power plants on the territory of the republic is being considered by a number of companies, including VTK Global. Today, this company is exploring sites for wind power plants in one of the districts of the republic,” Tatarstan’s Ministry of Industry and Trade told Realnoe Vremya.
Earlier, the head of Tatarstan’s investment development agency Taliya Minullina announced earlier that VTK Global may start construction of a wind farm in 2022.
Seven sites for wind farms
Nail Timerbayev, director of the Department of Renewable Energy Sources at Kazan State Electrical Engineering University, told Realnoe Vremya that seven sites are currently being explored to place the wind farms. Earlier, locations in the Spass, Rybnaya Sloboda, Chistopol and Kamskoye Ustye districts and locations for Tatneft in the southeast of the republic were mentioned. In 2018, the Kazan State Power Engineering University won a 20.5 million ruble tender for exploration in three districts of Tatarstan.
The newspaper’s interlocutor noted that several Turkish companies, including VTK Global, turned to the university with orders. However, despite the announced intentions, an investment decision on the start of the construction of a specific park has not yet been taken.
“There is no infrastructure for the parks at the moment, design work includes engineering measurements and explorations, power output diagrams. Infrastructure construction work has not yet started anywhere An investor, a general contractor an investor will choose the fact,” explained the head of the department.
For himself and sale
Amid the western craze over renewable energy sources, Tatneft has joined the game. As the company claimed, it is considering the possibility of building wind farms with a capacity of 12 MW and above. In addition, not only will the oil company’s own needs be met, but electrical energy will also be supplied to the wholesale market – under the Renewable Energy Sources Power Delivery Agreement 2.0 program.
“The location of wind farms will be determined after instrumental measurements of wind potential on the territory of Tatarstan and the assessment of energy and related infrastructure,” Tatneft told our newspaper.
Timerbayev also did not name the site, limiting himself to the information that it is a neighborhood near Almetyevsk.
Why does an oil company need wind turbines? Two reasons are invoked — a reduction of the hydrocarbon footprint and an improvement of the environment in the territory of activity of Tatneft GC.
More interestingly, the oil company has decided to manufacture not only electrical energy but also wind power equipment, which became insufficient after the departure of the Western partners. Wind turbine blades are the case. The project is implemented with Tekoinvest, a Russian-Sino company, leader of the Ural Wind Architects consortium, which includes more than 10 Chinese and Russian companies. Most of them have experience in the implementation of large wind power projects, including the Chinese company Harbin Electric Corporation Wind Power (HEWP), owner of wind power generation equipment and technologies with a capacity of 4.5 MW.
The contours of the new production are not yet clear. For example, it is unclear how much the oil company is willing to invest in the project.
“In this work at Tatneft GC, a working group has been created, its tasks include the assessment of the technological readiness of the companies of the Tatneft group, the evaluation of investments and the preparation of the financial model of the production organization” , affirmed Realnoe Vremya in the company.
But something anyway is known. To reduce logistical expenses, it is planned to set up production near water — due to the enormous size of the composite components. The potential capacity of renewable energy source components is about 300 MW per year. The roadmap specifies that the production of the first product is scheduled for the first quarter of 2025.
“Exporters need this”
The energy crisis in Europe linked to the restriction of Russian oil and gas supplies has somewhat slowed the importance of the transition to renewable energies. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Tatarstan assured our newspaper that the construction of wind farms for Tatarstan is not a trend or an experiment, the republic maintains plans to increase the share of energy wind turbine on the market, new plans are also appearing — import substitution.
“The Republic of Tatarstan is one of the main industrially developed regions of Russia. A number of large exporting companies interested in reducing carbon footprint and green energy consumption by building renewable energy generation sources are located in the region. In this regard, the republic intends to develop renewable energies together with traditional production. The geopolitical situation and the exit of localized wind power equipment producers from the Russian market determined the need to manufacture Russian wind turbines,” Tatarstan’s Ministry of Industry and Trade told Realnoe Vremya.
As an example, a joint project of Tatneft and Rekoinvest is cited as an example.
Nail Timerbayev thinks that from the point of view of the energy balance, the construction of wind farms for Tatarstan is not a topical issue. It can easily become one of these projects, but it is a disadvantage for the investment attractiveness of the territory to place certain plants. Also, it is important not to lose ground, especially compared to other regions that deal closely with this issue. But Tatneft really needs a wind farm.
“The question of decarbonization has not gone away, regardless of where to export, to Europe, China or elsewhere. The hydrocarbon footprint in products will be calculated everywhere, here and there. Exporters need it, while Tatneft is our main exporter, and it reduces the hydrocarbon footprint in their products,” noted the scientist.
Of course, Tatarsta is not Vladivostok, but the conditions allow using wind power. “There are windier regions than Tatarstan, but this is a very suitable region for wind power generation and economically feasible from the point of view of wind potential,” Timerbayev concluded.