Russia aims to switch from coal to gas

Russia is to convert a major power plant from coal to gas, thanks to a seven-year loan worth 12 billion roubles (£0.2bn) provided by a London-based bank. The cash will […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Russia is to convert a major power plant from coal to gas, thanks to a seven-year loan worth 12 billion roubles (£0.2bn) provided by a London-based bank.

The cash will be used for the construction of a 420MW Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power unit at the Verkhnetagilskaya thermal power plant (pictured) owned by Inter RAO.

Once completed, coal-fired capacity of 264MW will be decommissioned by 2015 and another 288MW of capacity by the end of 2017. That is expected to cut carbon emissions by 1.6 million tons a year – equivalent to the annual pollution caused by 800,000 cars in Europe.

The project is part of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD) strategy to encourage industry to switch away from using carbon fuels to generate electricity.

Riccardo Puliti, the EBRD’s Managing Director for Energy and Natural Resources said: “This is another major step in the EBRD’s strategy to support the modernisation and de-carbonisation of electricity generation.”

The new unit will have to meet the Bank’s Performance Requirements and EU environmental standards, including the EU Industrial Emissions Directive.