"FANTASTIC OPPORTUNITIES!" SAYS CHUBAIS AS RUSSIA LAUNCHES TIDAL POWER PROJECT

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MURMANSK, February 8 (RIA Novosti/Northwest news agency's Ekaterina Kozlova) - "Russia has fantastic opportunities to build several tidal power plants," said Anatoli Chubais, board chair of the UES (United Russian Power Grid) company. He addressed newsmen today in Murmansk, major seaport in Russia's northwest, upon visiting in its vicinity the Kislaya Guba experimental tidal power plant-this country's only for today.

"We saw unique technologies not in blueprints but in action. If these technologies turn out to meet desired parameters, we shall start a huge endeavor of an unprecedented purport," said Mr. Chubais.

As he told the media, there was a conference at an R&D institute two years ago, UES bosses attending. Staff researchers told them about their new achievement, an orthogonal turbine which retains its rotation direction at tide and ebb alike.

"The turbine appeared an abstract invention at the time. It was determined, however, to implement it here in the Kola Peninsula. The target was met.

"This is not merely Russia's first tidal plant-it is using the world's first orthogonal unit invented by Russians to work for a tidal plant.

"Its parameter forecasts promise a huge breakthrough not on a Russian but a global scale. That is no exaggeration," Anatoli Chubais triumphantly concluded.

Novosti previously interviewed Evgeni Ustinov, chief of PR for Kolenergo Co., Kislaya Guba plant proprietor.

The experimental unit was designed by the NIIES, research institute for power industrial construction, on INTERGEOCOM Co. order, and manufactured by Sevmash Co., based in Severodvinsk, Arkhangelsk Region, also in European Russia's north, said our informant.

"The new hydropower machinery has a very simple design. A true high-tech item, it requires much less metal than usual. Thanks to all that, it takes half as much time and money to make one as to manufacture conventional equipment."

The world has no analogue to offer to this orthogonal turbine. The cutting-edge technology is welcome to other tidal plants to be built. The INTERGEOCOM is ready with blueprints for a 12 million kilowatt plant in Mezen, Arkhangelsk Region, and an 8 million kilowatt in Tugur on the Sea of Okhotsk, in the Russian Far East, added Mr. Ustinov.

The Kislaya Guba plant had its work suspended for ten years, to be recommissioned, December last.

Commissioned in 1968, the tidal power plant is under government protection as national scientific and technical monument. It produced a total 8,018,000 kwt/hrs of energy between 1970 and 1994.

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