In Balakovo, where JSC RusHydro Subsidiary-Saratovskaya HPP is located, an extended meeting was held of the Management Board of JSC RusHydro with the participation of the company management and directors of all subsidiaries and dependent companies. The venue of this meeting of the management of Russia's biggest generating company was no random choice: a serious experiment has been under way at the Saratovskaya HPP for more than six months now - a pilot project for introduction of the "Lean Energy" programme for raising operating efficiency.
At the end of the meeting, the head of RusHydro, Vasiliy Zubakin, gave a press conference. He announced that, in terms of the heat and importance of the resolutions adopted, the meeting was in keeping with the current economic situation.
"A serious crisis must be met with serious initiatives and profound decisions. In particular, it was decided that the pilot project for energy saving and energy efficiency should be rolled out to other RusHydro power plant. We are satisfied with the interim results of the project, although it is not yet completed. What we have heard today impressed even those who, just a few months ago, were skeptical about the idea. Problem solving and more energy efficient production without capital investments are extremely important now. And this is the direction in which our company is now turning in the main. Today, a decision was made to adopt the energy efficiency system in all spheres of the company's operations: in economies of electric power for internal needs and of thermal electric power, in adoption of optimal technological decisions with respect to renovation and repair works. All this should entail greater competitiveness of the company and lower production costs of energy resources, as well as stability under the conditions of the financial crisis. Even though the law on energy efficiency has not yet been approved by the State Duma, our company has taken up this sp[here of activity as if it had been. We are striving to become if not international, at least national champions in raising energy efficiency. And one of the ways to achieve this is to introduce the "Lean Energy" programme".
"There are currently 9 projects in place that are being implemented within the scope of the Lean Energy programme. Three of them have been completed, while work is continuing on the others", Lyudmila Odintsova, Director of JSC RusHydro Subsidiary-Saratovskaya HPP stated.
It should be noted that the working group for implementing the project consists of representatives of different specialties and power plant services, to a multilateral view of a common problem is achieved - in contrast to the principle when only technical services specialists try to resolve a problem. A lateral view helps in finding sometimes unique and unusual solutions. The motto of the working group is, not surprisingly "Together we see — together we know — together we act".
The press conference also covered the possible reduction in the funding of RusHydro social and charitable programmes during the crisis.
"At the given time, the company's business plan, investment and charitable programmes have not yet been approved. But we do not intend to close down the social and charitable programmes completely", Vasiliy Zubakin assured. "Some plans may have to be put off for a while. Our chief priority remains, however, the help children from socially vulnerable population strata and to foster the growth of future company personnel, from kindergarten to degree level. Take the project under which representatives of commissions from the St. Petersburg technical and the Siberian Federal universities visit the regions where hydro-power plants are being built and choose talented youngsters from among the local population to study at their institutions. Our company then helps them out materially. This means grants and payment of travel expenses and organisation of internships and finding a job. In the difficult economic situation, we must help those in most need.