Erkovetskaya power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Erkovetskaya (Yerkovetskaya) power station is a proposed 1,000-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Amur Province, Russia.


The map below shows the location of the Erkovetsky coal mine, in Ivanovsky District, Amur Province. The coal plant would presumably be built near the mine.[1]

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8,000-MW Proposal

In 2013, a framework agreement was signed between Inter RAO (owned by the Russian government) and State Grid Corporation of China (owned by the Chinese government) calling for Russia to hugely expand its power generation capacity in eastern Russia, for export to China.[2]

In February 2014, the two companies proposed an 8-gigawatt coal-fired power plant in Amur Province, to be powered by coal from the Erkovetsky (Yerkovetskaya) lignite coal mine, less than 100 km from the border with China. The plant's capacity would be comparable to the total existing generation capacity of all of Russia's Far East. 2,000 km of transmission lines would need to be constructed to feed the plant's power into the Beijing grid.[2] Financing would likely come from China. China's Huaneng Group may also join the project.[3]

In February 2015, SGCC stated that the plant's cost would be $15 billion. The Russian energy minister stated that the goal was to begin construction on the first stage of the plant by late 2015 or early 2016, and to finish the first stage by the end of 2019.[4] The size of individual stages of the plant is unclear.

In October 2015, with the project's proposed cost having risen from $15 billion to $20-25 billion, Inter RAO was seeking tax concessions from the Russian government in order to ensure the project's profitability. According to an Inter RAO executive, Chinese development banks would provide at least 70% of project finance.[5]

In August 2016, it was reported that Russia and China are exploring the possibility of signing agreements between SGCC and Inter RAO to cooperate on the project. Inter RAO Boris Kovalchuk had told journalists in April that the company was not satisfied with China's proposal for price terms, and that price would be the key factor in determining the future of the US$20-25 billion project. Eastern Energy Company (the subsidiary of Inter RAO, responsible for exports to China and Mongolia) would export 30-50 billion kWh per year of the power station's output to China, up to 5% of the total Russian output.[6]

In June 2017 it was reported that the project (both the mine and plant) had been suspended "due to a decline in China's electricity consumption against the background of the economic crisis."[7]

4,000-MW Proposal

In May 2018, the project was revived, but at a smaller scale: 4,000 MW. The project would still be built by a consortium of Inter RAO and SGCC, and would now cost $10 billion. State lender Vnesheconombank has signed an agreement in principle with Inter RAO to provide funding for the project.[8][9]

1,000-MW Proposal

In the 2018 Inter Rao annual report the project is described as a 1 x 1,000 MW plant using coal from the Yerkovetsky coal deposit.[10] In March 2020 it was reported that Inter RAO was studying whether to build the project to be fired by gas instead of coal.[11]

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