M.Sonompil: the city will not lack electricity


We met with M.Sonompil, Minister of Energy yesterday, in connection with an announcement that 2014 will be a building year in the field of power. One of the projected power stations will be built with funding from the Development Bank and two will be built by Concession Contract.

The Amgalan Station will eliminate 86 low pressure stoves

The advantage of Amgalan Station is that it is the first thermal power station. Mongolian power will come from a combination of thermal and electrical power stations. Amgalan Station will produce 388 megawatts of energy and its basement work already started on August 23, 2013. Currently its construction work is at 80 percent completion and the first of the three chambers will be ready to use by October 15, 2014.  The finishing date is set for December.

M.Sonompil, Minister of Energy, stated that putting the Amgalan Station into use will eliminate the 86 low pressure stoves in Bayanzurkh district. The heat that is being distributed from thermal electrical station #4 to Bayanzurkh district is delivered six to eight hours later. It causes a huge amount of heat loss and economical expenditure. By building Amgalan Station, the heat from the thermal electrical station #4 will be used in the central heating system. The 388 megawatt supply is enough power to support over 50 thousand households.

A Chinese machinery engineering company is the project executor and there are ten supporting executor companies from Mongolia. B.Battumur, head of the project said “At present there are approximately 230 Chinese building workers and in the future there will be 1000 workers at the top levels of the work”.

He continued to say that the project is being done using the Concession Contract’s 75.9 million USD. The project managing company’s occupancy for the station is 20 years. There is currently an incomplete connection of the waste water pipes between Shar Khad and Uliastai. There is no place to distribute their extra water. Amgalan Station is under construction near to ger area. Originally, it was the plan that there must not be any household at a distance of 50 meter from the station. He stated that they hope that these issues will be sorted when the thermal station is ready to use.

 Extension of thermal power plant #3

The extension work of thermal power plant #3 started in June, 2013 and now it is near to completion. It was very impressive to see such a big building. This building consists of an extension of the main building, cooling tower, electric distribution building, cooling pump and station building. The basement of thermal power plant #3 was established in 1963. It provides 17.6 percent of electricity and 32 percent of the heating to Ulaanbaatar city.  The extension of the station will increase the electricity output by 50 megawatts and the city’s heating supply by 75 kcal. This means 4,500 households of 95 buildings will be provided with heat and electricity. The total cost of the project is 35 million USD. The Chinese Human Industrial Equipment is the project manager of this project. The extension will be finished in June, 2014.

The usage increase of thermal power plant #4 

Thermal power plant #4 provides 70 percent of central regions in the city with electricity and 65 percent of Ulaanbaatar’s heating. Thermal power plant #4 is currently overloaded because  the electrical usage of Mongolia has increased 8 to 10 times in recent years.

The extension project for 123 megawatt electricity and 188 kcal heat was started to counter this extra strain on the thermal station and it is expected to be finished on November 14, 2014. B.Tseveen, executive director of this station, said “The extension work will reduce the increased strain of electricity and heating usage for the short term.”

The difference between this and the above mentioned project is that the contract companies are from Russian; two companies besides the Development Bank. Its construction cost is 70 million USD and specialists say that it is possible to get back the cost within 4.5 to 7.8 years.

Since 1994, thermal power plant #4 has received new and updated technologies thanks to Japanese grant aids, Asian bank’s soft loans and the Czech Republic’s grant aid.  The station has introduced its updates to the Minister of Energy. Among their updates, they have installed a generator which produces 120 megawatt electricity. This is considered the most powerful generator.

Below is an interview with M.Sonompil, Minister of Energy.

How much our energy is increasing with implementation of these projects?

If the three big buildings will put into use, a total of 170 megawatt energy will be available from October and November. The heating will increase by 588 kcal. The total amount of heat we use in UB is 1500 kcal. Therefore, 588 kcal equals 30 percent of the total usage. That means Ulaanbaatar will not suffer from lack of electricity and heat for at least five years. Maybe during a period of high demand, we might use Russian electricity.

What is the current situation of thermal power plant #5?

Last September, tender selection for thermal power plant #5 was conducted. The working group discussion between the Minister of Energy and Minister of Economic Development has concluded. So soon it will be discussed in the parliament. During the discussion, the issue of investment, the cost of one kilowatt of electricity, the value of nature and the environment, and water will be discussed. It is likely that the discussion will be lengthy. Moreover, the issues relating to the situation of the site will be shortly solved.

Where is the location of the plant?

It will be built in front of the Urgakh Naran micro district, covering 43 hectares of land.

Can you talk about development projects underway in provinces?

The government developed big projects to supply the provinces with heat and electricity. The government made a decision to build thermal power plants in eight provinces. I have met with the administration of these provinces. This month contracts will be made and real work will start from May. By 2015, their constructions will be done.

Which provinces were chosen?

The provinces with projects for thermal power plants are Khentii, Dundgovi, Uvurkhangai, Arkhangai, Govisumber, Bayankhongor, Zavkhan and Govi-Altai.

What if the plants run deficit even though the buildings have been completed?

The government has managed the deficit from electricity for many years. They released Parliaments Decree 72 resolution. In that resolution, they decided to work by transferring the price of electricity to the market rule from January 1, 2014. To implement it, surveys are being conducted.


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