Energetics Publication Date 11-10-2020

Nikiforov Anatoly Borisovich

First Deputy Chairman of the Board of JSC "Astana-Energy"

- Anatoly Borisovich, please tell me which 3-4 key events over the past 5 years, in your opinion, have had the greatest impact on the energy sector of Kazakhstan?

- In the period 2008-2015, the program "Tariff in exchange for investments" was implemented, which consisted in the fact that first partially, and then all net profit with depreciation, each generation had to be invested in the reconstruction of equipment. During this period, at many stations in Kazakhstan, due to such infusions, a large-scale equipment upgrade was carried out, new systems began to be introduced in technology. This was a good boost for businesses. Also, the traditional generation industry is influenced by the "green energy" policy, which is carried out through the clearing and financial center. That is, all green energy is distributed between traditional generation, we buy at the green tariff, and sell at our current tariff. As a result, organizations are losing money because we can buy more green energy and not take this into account in the calculations.

- The second important question that I would like to get an answer to: in your opinion, as an expert, in the energy production chain, where can we expect such and such a technological breakthrough in the near future?

- Honestly, there won't be any major changes in the next 5 years. It's no secret that all our TPPs have exhausted their reserves and therefore the main power equipment requires modernization and reconstruction. Changes will depend on the sources of investment for this upgrade. Now there are already new developments in turbine equipment, where in the same dimensions a PT-80 can be made of a PT-100, it is also possible to increase the steam capacity. Therefore, some kind of technological breakthrough can be expected only when there is a source of funding. For example, at our station we are thinking about developing such projects until we see funding. However, to be ready, we are already doing preliminary work.

- Do you think there are risks of changing the structure of energy consumption?

- Everything will depend on the programs that are simultaneously being implemented in Kazakhstan for industrialization and development. If we talk about the immediate prospects, then generation is in demand only in cases where there are consumers.

- What actors and events will play a key role in the next 10 years?

- I think we shouldn't forget about our staff. At the moment, the trend is not the most positive. In my opinion, the personnel who are trained in our universities, come to work completely raw. At the same time, we have significantly lost the middle-level institutions and vocational schools that were previously. That is, specialists come and immediately want to be managers, not even being able to work with their hands and not understanding the entire production technology. Also, some of the specialties that were previously in demand have dropped out of the training program altogether. So the training of personnel for the Kazakhstani energy sector is very lame both in universities and in professional institutions.

- Tell me, please, if you had enough money, what would you solve the main problem in the energy industry?

- I would single them out for the creation of an institute or research center, which would systematize all new technologies for unconventional energy production. If we had such an organization in Kazakhstan, which accumulated and adapted new technologies to modern needs, it would bear fruit in the long term.

- If you had an unlimited amount of money, what field of energy would you invest money in?

- If as an investor, then returning to energy storage systems, which would allow you to be maneuverable. Studying this practice, one can notice that there is an ecological and economic effect, the reliability of the power system. I would also like to add in general that it is relevant for Kazakhstan to consider such an industry as hydropower. According to our research, the potential of our rivers is quite large. Again, I understand that now there are no necessary institutions such as KazHydroMet, which could predict or design this, study the hydrology of rivers. On the other hand, this is not only electricity, but also large reserves of water for Kazakhstan. Can be used for irrigation of land, which would help the development of the agro-industrial complex. Therefore, this area also needs to be developed in Kazakhstan.