Six out of ten turbines have to be built anew at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower plant in Siberia

Six out of ten turbines have to be built anew at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower plant in Siberia, which was ruined in August when water flooded the turbine room and took a toll of 75 lives, Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency reported.

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At the first stage four turbines can be restored, but will have to be replaced after their service life period expires, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said Thursday.

At the second stage six new turbines will be built, he said and estimated restoration will cost over 40 billion rubles (US$1.31 billion).

The RusHydro Company, that owns the plant, can attract over 20 million rubles (US$659.3 million) of private investments, however the state will preserve its controlling stake in the company, according to Sechin.

He refused to specify one concrete cause of the accident, saying the absence of coordination, lack of technical control, the general reform in power engineering, and commercial projects of the plant leadership were to blame.

“It is premature to say that a single cause triggered the accident. Safety was not a priority for the plant leadership,” he said.

“The leadership of the plant was excessively engaged in commercial projects and there were numerous intermediaries at the facility,” Sechin said.

He also explained the plant leadership and their relatives founded the Hydroenergoremont repairs company, which carried out repairs at the second turbine in 2009 where the accident occurred.

At the same time, the power Machines Company that produced the equipment was denied a possibility to service it.

“We see that professional ethic has been lost. A code of professional ethic has to be introduced,” Sechin said.

He said the urgent task was to complete the construction of a water discharge by the time of spring floods and recalled the government had decided to appropriate 4.3 billion rubles (US$141.8 million) to speed up the work.

The water discharge has to be completed by June 1, 2009. However as spring floods begin earlier in the area, Sechin said at least one line of the water discharge has to be ready by the time.

“This construction is a priority object for the restoration of Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower plant. It is to cope with high waters. I urge RusHydro leadership and all subcontractors to strictly comply with all the schedules,” Sechin said.

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