Ulaanbaatar in Danger of Energy Shortage


This article was translated from Daily News.
The current supply of power and heating is unable to bear the progressive energy load as there are too many buildings requiring power in Ulaanbaatar. Almost 800 thousand people are residing in ger districts in the capital city. The power has gone off at the ger districts of Dambadarjaa, Belkhiin Am, Bayankhoshuu and Doloon Buudal while there has been a shortage of power for 20 thousand households of the Chinggeltei District. Lately, apartments of the Tenth and Thirteenth Khoroolol have been repeatedly losing power.
The Ministry of Energy is warning citizens of Ulaanbaatar of an impending electricity shortage which may require the electricity to be stopped at certain parts of Ulaanbaatar in December as the load from the heating system increases by up to 18 percent. Some households have not been provided with heating until now due to some damage of the heating pipe lines of the Second, Third and Fourth power plants. If the operation of these three plants becomes faulty, Ulaanbaatar could be in peril.
Mongolia’s first lighting system was established in Ulaanbaatar in the year of 1922. During the socialist time period in our country, eight thermal power plants were established and the residents of Ulaanbaatar, Darkhan-Uul, Erdenet, Choibalsan and Baganuur were relieved from relying on stoves and the possible dangers from fire. The usage of energy nationwide reached its peak in 1989 but eventually decreased as Mongolia shifted to an open market economy. The reason for the decrease was due to factories becoming privatized and the closing of the largest industrial plants due to shortages of raw materials. However, now Ulaanbaatar is in a desperate need for a Fifth Thermal Power Plant. Unless the next plant is established soon, the entire city of Ulaanbaatar is in extreme danger of being blanked in darkness. By amending the Program of the Energy Central System of Mongolia in 2007, the Government of Mongolia created a legal document on Energy Policy. According to the policy document, Mongolia’s energy sector is staged to be developed from the time periods of 2005-2015, 2020 and 2040.
The World Bank evaluated this sector through research four years ago and issues a warning to the Government of Mongolia that our country would not have the capacity to provide enough power or heating for its citizens by 2012, unless a new thermal power-plant was established. The World Bank’s research in 2008 estimated that the consumption from central energy system of Mongolia would increase by 3.5 percent in 2012. The energy and heating supply of Ulaanbaatar is on the verge of expiring unless we urgently address this issue and establish the fifth thermal power plant by 2014.
The issue of the next plant was discussed for the first time in 2007 and from these initial meetings; the fifth plant was intended to be erected near Sharhad. Finally, the related officials decided to expand the Third Thermal Power Plant and to establish a new and eco-friendly plant with more advanced technology.
The project to erect the fifth thermal power plant for Mongolia—Ulaanbaatar TPP-5—has been begun and the whole project is set to finish in 2020. The project will improve the heating distribution throughout Ulaanbaatar, reduce the load of the other plants, ensure the safety of users and enhance the supply of energy. The technical research was conducted jointly by H&J Company of the USA, North East Electric Power Design Institute of China and Mongol Energy Company with the grant-in-aid from the Asian Development Bank. The Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy, the State Property Committee and the Asian Development Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2011. The PwC Company in Singapore will provide the financial services and the COWI Company in Sweden is in charge of the technical aspects of the project. They have begun their operations at the site to be occupied by Thermal Power Plant-5. As the last report on the technical aspects of the research has been discussed during a session of the Government and was finally supported in May, 2011. The General Assessment of the Influence on the Environment was performed by a senior expert of the Ministry of Nature, Environment and Green Development.
In accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding, the project coordinators are set to implement the project with the help of a partnership of both public and private companies in orientation of ‘Build-Use-Transfer.’ The 81 representatives from 24 domestic and foreign companies who bought the applications of the preliminary tender were introduced to the spot where the Fifth Thermal Power Plant will be erected.
In the opening of the preliminary tender of the project in late 2011, 36 entities expressed their interests to take part in the tender. In the second selection, four consortiums Mitsui Co. Ltd, Samsung-KOSPO, International Power PLC Newcom LLC and Daelim-Lanco have remained. The following measures after the tender have been stalled as the previous Government of Mongolia, headed by the Prime Minister S.Batbold, did not work on the project diligently, claiming the project was under inspection by professional organizations.
The project of the Fifth Thermal Power Plant has not been implemented at all in past five years. At this rate, heeding the warnings of the World Bank, the capital city of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, will soon see its last light by 2014.

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Posted by on Oct 19 2012. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Ulaanbaatar in Danger of Energy Shortage”

  1. This is like going back to the early 1992 with power cuts everyday, nothing new then. Mongolian needs to forward

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