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Fortum’s Chelyabinsk GRES unit 3 begins commercial operations

Fortum’s new 247.5MW combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) unit at the Chelyabinsk GRES power plant in Russia has entered into commercial operations.

The commencement of operations completes the Finnish state-controlled utility’s replacement investment at the Chelyabinsk GRES power plant which has a power generation capacity of 742MW, and heat capacity of 988MW.

The Chelyabinsk GRES unit 3, which also has a heat capacity generation of 174MW, will replace the aging eight turbine generators in the Russian power plant, which was commissioned originally 87 years ago.

Fortum Russia Division executive vice president Alexander Chuvaev said: “The replacement project improves our security of supply in the Chelyabinsk heat system and significantly reduces emissions.”

In 2015-2016, Fortum completed its Russian investment program by commissioning two CCGT units of Chelyabinsk GRES.

The €2.5bn investment program featured construction of eight gas-fired units having a combined capacity of more than 2GW that are spread across in the Chelyabinsk and Tyumen regions. It was announced first in 2008 by the Finnish company and had also covered modernization of the existing power units.

Fortum says that the return on its investment for the new capacity developed under the investment program is backed by the Russian Government’s capacity supply agreements (CSA).

While the Chelyabinsk GRES unit 1 began commercial operation from December 2015, unit 2 started its commercial operation from March 2016.

Both unit 1 and unit 2 have a combined power capacity of 495MW.

In Russia, Fortum has close to 5GW of power generation capacity to go along with nearly 10GW of heat production capacity.

Last week, Fortum’s €8.05bn takeover offer to German energy company Uniper was rejected by the latter on grounds that the amount had undervalued it.