On the agenda: the readiness of power grids and housing and utilities services for the autumn-winter period, improving legislation on social insurance against industrial accidents, and a subsidy to the Orenburg Region to complete the construction of a regional children's hospital.
Excerpts from the transcript:
Today we will consider how well the enterprises in the power generation industry and housing and utilities services are prepared for the autumn-winter period.
The heating season has already begun throughout Russia. It is important for the systems to operate without accidents and failures through the winter. Uninterrupted electricity, heat and hot water supply depends on the reliable functioning of all systems.
According to the respective ministries, Russian regions reported a high degree of readiness as this year’s period of cold weather approached. Overall, more than 15,000 kilometres of heating pipelines, 66,000 kilometres of water mains, and 22,000 kilometres of sewer pipelines have been replaced. A large scope of works has been carried out to maintain uninterrupted power supply.
The relevant enterprises have the reserves of coal, fuel oil and diesel fuel that exceed the established standards. However, problems remain in several regions. The President has instructed us to make every effort to build up sufficient fuel reserves there. We need to complete the work in the regions in question as soon as possible.
The most difficult situation, as regards preparations for the autumn-winter season, is shaping up in the new Russian territories. We are addressing all issues systemically and have set up inter-departmental headquarters for this purpose. However, the situation in those regions remains complicated, and chances are high that the local infrastructure might be damaged. We must continue our work until we have implemented all the planned measures. This concerns housing, utilities and social facilities, in the first place.
In all regions, we need to work hard to equip vitally important facilities with self-contained reserve generators and power sources. First of all, this includes hospitals, which must have electricity at all times without interruption; people’s lives directly depend on this.
Despite the complicated situation, we must consistently reduce debts owed to resource-providing organisations. Many regions owe money to the power industry and the utility sector, and these debts seriously hamper the development of enterprises and their equipment modernisation and retooling programmes.
I ask the heads of Russian regions to personally monitor these issues. I would also like to remind everyone that it is unacceptable to increase overdue debts still further.
Minister of Energy Nikolai Shulginov and Minister of Construction, Housing and Utilities Irek Faizullin will report on efforts to prepare power plants and utility mains in more detail.
I would now like to discuss efforts to improve social insurance legislation. We are doing our best to minimise the risks to life and health of people working at industrial facilities.
We must ensure maximum possible protection against workplace threats, and this is our unconditional priority.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to avoid tragedies in some cases. In this situation, the families of the victims must obtain the required assistance and support. The President prioritises this issue.
The Government has drafted amendments to the Law on Compulsory Social Insurance against Workplace Accidents and Occupational Diseases. We suggest that lump-sum payments for the families of deceased production workers increase by 100 percent, from one million to two million roubles.
We will continue to draft additional social security measures together with the professional community, businesses and employees.
Another issue concerns healthcare.
At a meeting on the opening of healthcare facilities in the Russian regions, the President noted that it is necessary to improve the accessibility and quality of medical assistance so that all citizens see these improvements.
Today we will provide the Orenburg Region with 700 million roubles for completing the construction of a regional children’s hospital. It is supposed to open as soon as next year. It will be a large, well-equipped facility where children will receive effective and professional diagnostics and treatment.
It is important to continue providing outpatient clinics and hospitals with up-to-date equipment, and open new ones all across the country.
Colleagues, today, the State Duma passed the country’s main financial law, the federal budget for 2023-2025, in the final, third reading. Next week, the document will be reviewed by the Senators, after which it will be submitted to the President for signing.
I want to thank State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, representatives of relevant committees, State Duma deputies, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Grigorenko, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and, of course, all Government members for the efficient and coordinated work.
The ministers worked closely with the sectoral committees on all initiatives and amendments. Together we managed to create a balanced document that will help us deal with the key social and economic objectives, as well as tasks related to the country’s development and supporting our people.
Anton Siluanov: Thank you very much, Mr Mishustin. Yes, we all can take credit for it. Everybody took part in the development of the budget, agencies and deputy prime ministers. The State Duma Speaker thanked the Government for the work. Everyone noted that despite the complexity of the situation, the budget addresses all obligations, social and priority ones, and provides the funds that are necessary to deal with the current tasks.
Mikhail Mishustin: On the first issue, let’s hear from Minister of Energy Nikolai Shulginov. Then, Minister of Construction, Housing and Utilities Irek Faizullin will give his report.
We have completed preparation for the operation of energy facilities during autumn and winter. Although it is one of the most difficult periods, there are no issues with heating facilities. The Russian energy system has enough reserves of power generation and supply capacity to ensure faultless operation throughout the autumn and winter season. We have conducted all scheduled investment and maintenance works. The maintenance plans amount to the 2021 volumes in terms of technical upgrades and renovations, and financing for them has been secured.
On 5 November, we conducted the final assessment of the energy facilities’ readiness and issued certificates of conformity. The results were reviewed by the government commission on electric energy security. Ninety-six percent of the power facilities, or networks of 110 kV and above, and generation facilities of 25 MW and higher capacities have received certificates of conformity.
We have resolved issues concerning resource provision. The actual reserves of fuel at the generation facilities exceed current standards, coal by 126 percent and heavy fuel oil by 25 percent. We have completed the scheduled replenishment of energy storage facilities via the Northern Supply Haul. The scheduled retrieval of gas from underground storage facilities has started. As of 1 November, the gas storage facilities have been filled to the target level. Energy companies are provided with emergency reserves, equipment and diesel generators.
To ensure uninterrupted gas supply in the Far Eastern Federal District, we have adopted the uninterrupted operation scheme for the projects under the Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 production sharing agreements by re-registration and substitution of operators.
The electric energy assets having been sold by foreign shareholders to new Russian owners or transferred into Russian management has not affected the preparations for the autumn and winter season or the reliable operation of power generation equipment.
To ensure that new Russian constituent entities are sufficiently prepared for the autumn and winter season, serious efforts have been taken to restore power generating equipment, electric and gas networks.
Four energy units of the Lugansk Power Plant have been restored to supply energy to the Lugansk People’s Republic and enable production and supply of heating. Restoration works have been conducted at the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant in the Kherson Region. Equipment has been repaired at the Starobeshevskaya and Zuyevskaya power plants in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Power has been restored to over 35,000 residential buildings, over 600 social facilities, 27 water supply facilities and more than 80 heating facilities. More than 200,000 consumers have been connected to the gas grid.
By early December, we plan to provide gas to around 15,000 consumers in Volnovakha and the Volnovakha District of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
We have to restore certain power plants a number of times, after they have sustained repeated damage. This work involves the resources of our major federal-level energy companies. Over 400 teams and over 2,300 industry workers are currently working in these regions. We have also transferred 27 powerful mobile reserve generators, as well as 672 units of specialised equipment. We continue to restore the energy infrastructure and to connect consumers to power grids.
We devote special attention to ensuring the reliable operation of the power grid linking the Krasnodar Territory with Crimea, as well as large Crimean power plants, namely, the Balaklava and Tavrida thermal power plants. They reliably supply power and energy to consumers on the Crimean Peninsula, and they also provide electricity to the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions.
East Siberia and the Far East are our second most important priority. Our main task is to ensure the reliable and uninterrupted operation of power-generating equipment. This will facilitate uninterrupted power supply, and this will make it possible to connect new consumers, affiliated with Russian Railways’ Eastern Operating Domain. Moreover, Far Eastern and Siberian consumers will be able to cope with peak loads.
Under a decision by the President of the Russian Federation, we are monitoring efforts to facilitate the reliable and uninterrupted operation of power industry facilities in border regions, namely, the Belgorod, Bryansk and Kursk regions.
We mostly operate these facilities with the help of visiting teams and online.
Our personnel is constantly involved in repair and maintenance works. We have stockpiled additional emergency reserves, including equipment and components, in excess of standard volumes.
The Ministry of Energy believes that measures, implemented by power-generating facilities during preparations for the autumn and winter season, will facilitate the operation of power-generating equipment and the work of personnel under winter conditions. Despite complicated conditions, we will ensure the sustained operation of the entire power grid, and we will reliably supply power to consumers.
Mr Mishustin, in conclusion, I would like to report on repair and maintenance works on power grids of the Central and Volga federal districts.
Because of damage to power distribution networks during excess loads on power equipment, due to freezing precipitation, so-called freezing rain, consumer outages were recorded. I believe that the power companies have responded promptly. So far, power supply has been restored in the Kursk, Vladimir, and Voronezh regions. Work continues in the Nizhny Novgorod Region, where power has already been restored to more than 90 percent of consumers. Work is ongoing and should be completed today.
Mikhail Mishustin: Thank you.
Please, Mr Faizullin.
You, Mr Mishustin, and my colleague, Mr Shulginov, have already noted how smoothly the switch over to winter was organised. Comprehensive work has been carried out to prepare housing sock and infrastructure facilities - from surveys, testing and repair of grids to fixing roofs, walls, windows and individual residential buildings and structures.
Today the entire stock of blocks of flats has been prepared for the heating season, which includes 8.311 million buildings. In terms of infrastructure, 252,732 social and cultural facilities were prepared: 71,742 healthcare facilities, 43,000 schools, more than 44,000 kindergartens, 25,000 sports facilities, as well as all utility infrastructure facilities: 74,098 boiler houses and 920,360 km of utility lines.
Enough fuel reserves have been stockpiled. We worked individually with the regions where there was a delay, and the respective deliveries took place.
In general, over 280 billion roubles have been allocated to the regions to prepare for the current heating season. Issues related to operation during the autumn and winter period are being settled promptly thanks to the well-coordinated work of the federal and regional headquarters and joint work with the Ministry of Energy and Rostekhnadzor. Rostekhnadzor conducted a readiness assessment for 3,683 municipalities. Certificates have been issued to 87.4 percent, which is 2.6 percent higher than last year.
The Construction Ministry constantly monitors emergency situations on utility infrastructure systems. Most of them occur at water supply and sanitation facilities. One of the key causes of incidents is the deterioration of grids. All incidents are promptly identified and remediated. In general, the time needed to remediate incidents has been reduced this year. Incidents related to heat and water supply are under special supervision. To solve the problem of wear and tear of utilities, we continue developing a programme to update utility infrastructure.
Preparations for the heating season in the new territories continue as planned. It is necessary to note the deterioration of grids, which is much higher than the average in Russia. In general, the plan for the preparation of restored and habitable facilities, the use of facilities in the new regions was 97.8 percent complete. In particular, 94.6 percent of restored and usable facilities have been prepared for the heating period in the Zaporozhye Region, and 98 percent in the Kherson Region. The plan for the LPR is 99.7 percent, excluding the Severodonetsk agglomeration. In the Donetsk Republic, 99 percent have been prepared.
At the same time, we are keeping special watch over the situation with winter preparations in a number of cities, due to the high proportion of damaged and destroyed facilities. Among them are Mariupol, Volnovakha, Energodar, as well as the cities of the Severodonetsk agglomeration.
For cities and towns where preparatory work is difficult and the restoration of heat supply systems requires a significant amount of time, we provide connection through block modular boiler houses. A total of 221 boiler houses will be installed by the end of the year, and we will finish this work in December.
Mr Mishustin, the survey in the territories continues. We identify new facilities and prepare them for winter, and preparation work will continue throughout this period. An emergency technical reserve has also been formed in these territories, and we have enough personnel and equipment to promptly solve all questions and carry out work.
It should be noted that more than 38,000 specialists work both at the construction sites and on restoration work in Mariupol alone. In general, the heating season is running normally. In case of emergencies, the necessary emergency teams have been formed throughout the country, and there is rapid response to any incidents.
Mikhail Mishustin: Thank you, Mr Faizullin. Colleagues, in winter, the stability of heat and electricity supplies is certainly of particular importance for cities and towns. It is necessary to act in a coordinated, clear manner, to avoid any negligence in work, to monitor and respond promptly in case of emergencies. Even the smallest of them can hugely inconvenience people. Mr Faizullin and Mr Shulginov, please continue to personally oversee these matters.